Tuesday, February 25, 2014
I noticed no one had posted anything about this yet and I personally think it's really important to our course and our history. On Sunday marked the first time and openly gay player played in the NBA. Jason Collins, who came out last year, was picked up by the Brooklyn Nets and played on Sunday. This sort of event puts real pressure, not only on the NBA, but all professional sports in our country (recently Michael Sam, a 2014 NFL prospect, came out as well). Sports are riddled with gender stereotypes and expectations and gay men are often thought of as less than masculine in our society. Mixing these two "worlds" and having these men be their true selves is such an enormous step towards acceptance and equality for our society. It forces people to open up their definitions of masculinity as well as their expectations of gay men. There have been quite a few male athletes that have come out after their professional careers ended and many outspoken Allies within the sport (one of my personal favorites being Brendon Ayanbadejo who was very outspoken on LGBT issues while being a part of the Super Bowl winning Baltimore Ravens). There is true courage in these men for coming out while their careers are on the line and in such a public eye. I'm glad to be able to see this happen in my life, especially as a supporter of equality and as a sports fan. Here is an article on Jason Collins recent game and about the NBA's responsibility to push towards equality.