Jason Collins can’t be gay. I say that because I know gay. After all, some of my closest friends are gay. So what do you think of that!
I know gay from a lifetime of gay stereotypes that have been engrained in my psyche over the past 40 years. I envisioned the first openly gay basketball player to be white, not black. And the first gay basketball player certainly was not going to be a 7 foot center. No sir, my first gay basketball player was going to be a Caucasian point guard, no more than 6 foot 2. He was going to be a very unselfish player…, polite even. Someone who passed the ball to his teammates as opposed to driving to the basket on his own. My first gay basketball player was going to be an ex NY Knick, certainly not an ex NJ Net. After all, everyone knows New Yorkers are more cosmopolitan than their Jersey counterparts. My first gay basketball player would have long hair, kind of like Steve Nash did a few years back when he played for The Suns.
So along comes Jason Collins who has totally burst my gay basketball bubble. With all due respect, you are not what I was expecting, Jason Collins. Your height, your position, your skin color… you got it all wrong. You are messing with my perception of what a gay athlete should be, and for that, all I have to say is “thank you.”
Thank you, Jason Collins. I am glad it was you who broke the barrier that took too long to be broken. I admire your courage. I admire that you are not a point guard. I admire that you are tackling more stereotypes than you imagined would be the case by coming out. I am glad that people will get to know you better. I am glad that you will be contributing to the discussions on civil rights and gay marriage and whether anyone really has a chance against the Miami Heat.