“Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle, or like, premarital sex between heterosexuals… it says that that’s a sin… I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So, I would not characterize that person as a Christian, because I don’t think the Bible would characterize that person as a Christian.”
“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”
With those word Jason Collins became the first openly gay player in any of the country’s major sports. Collins is a 12 year NBA veteran and has recently written about his double-life in Sports Illustrated:
“I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. 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.”
“By its nature, my double life has kept me from getting close to any of my teammates. Early in my career I worked hard at acting straight, but as I got more comfortable in my straight mask it required less effort. In recent days, though, little has separated “mask on, mask off.” Personally, I don’t like to dwell in someone else’s private life, and I hope players and coaches show me the same respect. When I’m with my team I’m all about working hard and winning games. A good teammate supports you no matter what”
“I’m a veteran, and I’ve earned the right to be heard. I’ll lead by example and show that gay players are no different from straight ones. I’m not the loudest person in the room, but I’ll speak up when something isn’t right. And try to make everyone laugh.”
The reception to Collin’s announcement has been fairly positive. Collins was a classmate of Chelsea Clinton while at Stanford and President Clinton had this to say about Collins:
”Jason’s announcement today is an important moment for professional sports and in the history of the LGBT community. It is also the straightforward statement of a good man who wants no more than what so many of us seek: to be able to be who we are; to do our work; to build families and to contribute to our communities. For so many members of the LGBT community, these simple goals remain elusive. I hope that everyone, particularly Jason’s colleagues in the NBA, the media and his many fans extend to him their support and the respect he has earned.”
Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash tweeted: “The time has come. Maximum respect.”
Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders tweeted: “I would like to pledge my support to Jason Collins, and hope someday that we only get judged by our accomplishments.”
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant expressed support via Twitter: “Proud of @jasoncollins34. “Don’t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU”
Everyone seemed supportive of Collin’s effort except for ESPN’s NBA Analyst Chris Broussard. Broussard found it necessary to questions Collins Christianity because he is openly gay. Since Broussard has found it necessary to judge Collins and question his Christianity I assume Christ and Broussard are the two only people who have not sinned since he is throwing stones.
I understand where Broussard is coming from; I come from a deeply religious family and is a Christian. I believe the foundation of Christianity is love and to treat others in the same manner in which you would like to be treated. Christian zealots like Broussard are why the number of self-identified Christians has been on the decline in America and why more Americans are not affiliated with any religion. Jesus spoke of Love and tolerance, not condemning individuals for their short comings and questioning their Christianity.
Chris Broussard should spend more time reading what Paul wrote in Galatians 2:16- 21 instead of passing judgment on people: “… We become right with God, not by doing what the law commands, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be accepted by God because of our faith in Christ – and not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be saved by obeying the law… I am not one of those who treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die”.