Jason Collins: No Stories = Great Story

Jason Collins

A forgotten man. Considering his role, maybe that’s a good thing. Source: businessinsider.com

On April 29, 2013 Jason Collins became the first active player in a major North American pro sport to reveal he was gay. The public support far outweighed the public defamation, but the overriding narrative remained – having a homosexual on a team would be a distraction.

Fast forward to February – Collins signs with the Brooklyn Nets. After a two day hullaballoo of interviews and press conferences, and, but for a recent story of taunts heard from an opponent, the Collins story went where any newly signed fourth backup big man should go – into obscurity. Almost instantly, his entry into games meant nothing but a normal substitution. The throngs of road media expected to ask their respective teams about whether they feel comfortable playing against a gay man, or whether they’d feel comfortable with a gay teammate, never materialized.
It’s great, but it’s odd. Great that, seemingly, a man’s sexuality is not being discussed because it has no bearing on his performance. Odd that the question is a polarizing and entertaining story to follow. Perhaps media types, like most athletes on Twitter and in interviews, don’t want to risk ostracism if they even mention a gay man playing among them.
Perhaps it’s the rapidly moving news cycle.
Regardless of the reason(s), it’s encouraging that a player who has had little to do with his team’s amazing run (the Nets are an Eastern Conference best 29-11 since January 1), and will likely have nothing to do with its playoff success, is getting the perfect amount of attention for it – none.

 

 

 

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