Despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction that Jason Collins has received for his courageous steps out of the closet and into the limelight as an openly gay player for the National Basketball Association, haters gonna hate. Sportige compiled some of the negative reaction to Mr. Collins’ coming out. Some of it is just plain silly like this tweet from Mike Wallace of the Miami Dolphins:
All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys. I’m not bashing anybody don’t have anything against anyone I just don’t understand it
That’s too ignorant for words which is why he later deleted the tweet. But notice the only thing that’s keeping him straight is the beautiful women in the world. Hope he’s not stuck in an elevator with women who are only moderately attractive, or heaven forbid, a few dudes for an extended period of time. Mike will gay the fuck out apparently. From the ignorant we move on to the condescending like this statement from Mark Jackson, former point guard for the New York Knicks and current head coach of the Golden State Warriors:
I will say this. We live in a country allows you to be whoever you want to be. As a Christian man, I serve a God that gives you free will to be who you want to be. As a Christian man, I have beliefs of what’s right and what’s wrong. That being said, I know Jason Collins, I know his family, and am certainly praying for them at this time.
Not exactly religious intolerance. But one wonders how he has time to coach the Warriors at all when Mr. Jackson’s team plays just across the bay from San Francisco. His prayers for the Castro District alone must take up the vast majority of his day. Sadly this wasn’t the only instance of religious pushback from the world of sports. Here’s Chris Broussard from ESPN Outside the Lines discussing the Jason Collins news:
This one bothers me the most because I actually like Chris Broussard and think he’s a fine reporter. That being said, that shit is unacceptable! I love how we as a society can cast off most of the ridiculous practices from the Bible but somehow the bits about homosexuality simply will not give up the ghost. There are numerous examples of cast offs but let’s start with stoning. In the Bible most issues are resolved via stoning people to death. For not honoring your mother and your father, touching Mount Sinai, adultery, cursing, worshipping other Gods, breaking the Sabbath or not being a virgin on your wedding night (strictly for the ladies), the penalty is being stoned to death. It’s the Biblical equivalent of the number 42. Yet, our modern society has moved past that because, well, we’re a modern society. And honestly, where would we put all of the bodies?
Now does Mr. Broussard go on ESPN and say that all of the NBA players who work on Sunday are not really Christians because they’re breaking the Sabbath. Not a chance. Plus, it’s not like these guys ever had the chaste reputations of Sunday School teachers. Quite the opposite in fact. Fornication, adultery, and premarital sex are pretty much par for the course with the NBA. And yet, Mr. Broussard hasn’t been writing columns or going on the airwaves talking about how the players, coaches, and executives who’ve been hooking up with random chicks in every city are not real Christians. Somehow, this type of language is OK when it comes to gay people. Here’s the text of his piece from ESPN:
Personally I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly premarital sex between heterosexuals. If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, the Bible says you know them by their fruits, it says that’s a sin.
If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be. I think that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.
I’m slightly amused by his use of the word “open.” Does that mean that you can be gay or have premarital sex as long as you aren’t open about it? This entire fiasco reads more and more like Mr. Broussard’s icky feelings about TEH GAYZ? Or maybe God simply prefers secret rebellions? This actually points to a larger problem with the Bible. It’s figuratively all over the map when it comes to most issues. Murder is a definite no-no according to the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:13) unless of course you’re killing witches (Exodus 22:18) . How dare Pharaoh keep the Jewish people as slaves in Egypt (Exodus 9:1), yet slavery is also fine in other times and for other people (Leviticus 25: 44-46). Vengeance is awesome (Exodus 21:24-25) but don’t forget to love your enemies (Romans 12:14). However, rather than admitting the problems inherent with the inconsistent narratives therein, people like Mr. Broussard take their personal animus towards gay people and then try to hide behind their religion as if it were a force field. Like that’s supposed to make it OK. It doesn’t. Just because your views are supposedly religiously backed doesn’t mean it’s not offensive. Nor are we supposed to stand idly by while you pedal your intolerance.
Mr. Broussard, your cliff notes version of the Bible does not give you any special insight on what does or doesn’t constitute a Christian. And even if it did, it doesn’t explain why you continually break the Sabbath for all of those Sunday NBA games in your job for ESPN. Some folks might think you were “walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ.” I mean the way you egregiously flout God’s prohibition concerning keeping the Sabbath holy might get you characterized as a non-Christian. And you wouldn’t want that now would you?
Categories: Sporting Universe