Soooooo, Jason Collins decided to tell the world that he's a black, gay, basketball player. If you are connected to anything electronic, by now you know that Collins, a 7-foot center who has played in the NBA for 12 years, is the first athlete in a major American sport to admit that he is gay.
First and foremost, I commend Jason for having the courage to admit to the world that he is gay. I understand how hard it must be for one to place their personal life under scrutiny to raise the collective consciousness of the country. My heart also goes out to his family, who now has to deal with the media firestorm (good and bad) that comes with such a monumental announcement.
BUT, and you had to know a but was coming, I'm quite confused about why this is such a big deal. Last month, when soccer player Robbie Rogers admitted that he was gay, no one batted an eye. When Brittney Griner, former Baylor basketball superstar and soon-to-be number one draft pick in the WNBA admitted that she was gay, the sports world let out a collective yawn.
So why, oh why, is Jason's announcement the creme de la creme of coming out parties? Now, I'm not being naive here. I understand that he is the first person from the NBA, NFL, NHL, or MLB that has admitted he's gay. My question is, with all of the progress made in the gay community, is this really a benchmark that has any real significance? Work with me here to see my point.