In what can only be described as an orchestrated campaign designed for maximized positive impact, the cover story for Sports Illustrated's May 6 issue became April 29's biggest news story as NBA veteran Jason Collins (shown, on right) made the “surprising” revelation that he is homosexual. In the following hours the news, which the average American could be forgiven for considering mundane and forgettable, became the biggest story in the sports pages, on major network talk shows, and across the Twitter universe. The 34-year-old Collins, who played most of his nearly 13-year journeyman NBA career with the New Jersey Nets, has been feted by the likes of ABC's George Stephanopoulos (who got the first “exclusive” interview with Collins) and was even congratulated by President Obama for his courage in revealing his supposed sexuality. Fellow NBA stars have also been careful to affirm Collins, and he has quickly gained status as a celebrity role model for young people who are convinced they are gay.
Meanwhile, champions of traditional values are suggesting that the whirlwind media blitz seems too well packaged to be anything other than a well-oiled campaign designed to bring the public one step closer to surrendering to the normalization of homosexuality. “It certainly appears that Jason Collins is being used to push an agenda,” said Janet Boynes, herself a former lesbian who left the homosexual lifestyle and now helps others understand and deal with unwanted same-sex attraction. “There are powerful individuals and groups who are determined to force homosexuality and same-sex marriage on every sector of society,” Boynes told The New American. “People like Jason Collins are simply pawns to help them do that. This week the chosen target is professional sports.”
While the media sprang the Jason Collins story on the public as if he were making some surprising revelation, in reality the Sports Illustrated piece has most likely been months in the making, with ghost writers and editors strategically sculpting Collins' words for maximum emotional, heart-felt impact. “I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport,” claims Collins in his contrived public confessional. “But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different.' If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand.”
Collins claims he has known for a very long time that he is homosexual, but said it was not until 2011 and the NBA player lockout that he began to consider outing himself. With the support of such individuals as his aunt (“I've known you were gay for years”) and former college roommate (and now U.S. Congressman) Joe Kennedy, Collins says he gained the courage to make the announcement. In somewhat of a stretch, he also wrote that the Boston Marathon bombing “reinforced the notion that I shouldn't wait for the circumstances of my coming out to be perfect.” Most likely, the article was in the works much longer than this, but perhaps Collins' short connection with the Celtics offered added impetus to the timing.
Surprisingly, two individuals who should have picked up on Collins' homosexuality never had a clue until he told them. Collins said his brother and fellow former NBA player Jarron Collins “was downright astounded” at the revelation. “He never suspected,” writes Jason. Just as shocking was the news that his long-time girlfriend and former fiancé, Carolyn Moos, had no idea. Moos said the whole outing affair has been difficult to sort out. ”It's very emotional for me as a woman to have invested eight years in my dream to have a husband, soul mate, and best friend in him” she told scandal news site TMS.
A particularly important piece to the story — one not lost on those working overtime to normalize homosexuality among the masses — is Collins' observation that “I go against the gay stereotype.” He is, by his own estimation, an “aggressive player,” and throughout his solid NBA career has earned the on-court respect of some of the game's premier players. “I'm not afraid to take on any opponent,” he writes. “I love playing against the best. Though Shaquille O'Neal is a Hall of Famer, I never shirked from the challenge of trying to frustrate the heck out of him.”
The decidedly masculine NBA has been careful to show its support for Collins, with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash among the many players who have tweeted their kudos. Collins' own team, the Wizards, also released a statement, with Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld saying one and all were “extremely proud” of Collins' decision to “live his life proudly and openly.” Grunfeld said that Collins “has been a leader on and off the court and an outstanding teammate throughout his NBA career. Those qualities will continue to serve him both as a player and as a positive role model for others of all sexual orientation.”
“Role model” seems to be a key term in the whole story, as those pushing the homosexual agenda on the rest of society seem perpetually in search of individuals in the pop culture arenas of entertainment and sports to point to as “models” for younger people to emulate. While the twin pop-culture arenas of music and movies are well populated by “gay” personas, the field of professional sports has thus far produced a disappointing harvest. Collins' outing appears to be part of a campaign to change that.
Predictably, President Obama stepped forward immediately after Collins' revelation became public to offer his boisterous support and to front the homosexual athlete as a role model. Obama told reporters that he had personally called Collins to “to tell him I couldn't be prouder. Given the importance of sports in our society for an individual who's excelled at the highest levels in one of the major sports to go ahead and say, 'This is who I am. I'm proud of it. I'm still a great competitor.... I think a lot of young people out there who are gay or lesbian who are struggling with these issues to see a role model like that, who's unafraid, I think it's a great thing.”
While there has been plenty of love and affirmation for Collins, it has been a much different story for those in the sports world who make a public stand for traditional values and family. A prime example is the derision that has been heaped on Tim Tebow as he has unflinchingly maintained a Christian witness over his past two years in the NFL.
Similarly, when ESPN sportscaster Chris Broussard publicly responded to Collins' announcement with the other side of the equation, he was mercilessly criticized in the secular media, and even hung out to dry by his own network. During a discussion of Collins' admission on the ESPN show Outside the Lines, Broussard responded to ESPN writer LZ Granderson's comment that the issue of homosexuality in sports demanded more public dialogue. “I’d like to second what LZ said,” Broussard countered. “I’m a Christian. I don’t agree with homosexuality. I think it’s a sin, as I think all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is.” He added that “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 believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and Jesus Christ.”
Mainstream commentators were quick to respond to Broussard's sincere comments, with Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo Sports sharply retorting in writing that the “last thing” homosexual youth need “is to see someone like Chris Broussard ... referring to them as sinners who are in ‘open rebellion to God.’” Such comments were enough to prompt ESPN to publish an apology for Broussard's comments, regretting in a public statement “that a respectful discussion of personal viewpoints became a distraction from today’s news. ESPN is fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins‘ announcement.
Broussard followed up with his own statement, saying he realized that “some people disagree with my opinion and I accept and respect that. As has been the case in the past, my beliefs have not and will not impact my ability to report on the NBA. I believe Jason Collins displayed bravery with his announcement today and I have no objection to him or anyone else playing in the NBA.”
Janet Boyne said that such a clarification will, most likely, not be sufficient to satisfy the homosexual lobby's hunger for vengeance. “As we have witnessed in nearly every arena, there is no tolerance among militant gays and lesbians to any opinion that opposes their re-engineering of society,” Boynes told The New American. “When we publicly verbalize our belief in Christian values, we must realize that there is an increasingly bold and militant campaign to silence and disqualify those values. While we must be just as bold, we have to understand that there will be a price to pay.”
One high-profile sports figure apparently willing to pay the price is PGA star golfer Bubba Watson. After hearing Broussard's comments on the Jason Collins story, Watson tweeted: “Thanks @chris_broussard for sharing your faith & the bible!! #GodIsGood — bubba watson (@bubbawatson).”
Photo: AP Images