I want to preface this article by saying that I am a Christian. I believe in my heart that it is a sin to engage in a homosexual relationship, just as I believe it is wrong to have premarital sex if you are heterosexual. I also feel that it is a sin to murder, to steal, to commit adultery, and so on and so forth.
With that said, I applaud current NBA free agent center Jason Collins for coming out as a homosexual. I really do. I think it’s wrong to hide who you are from the world.
Regardless of my religious beliefs — and trust me, they are what guide my behavior, though I myself have plenty of faults — I believe that Collins should have the opportunity to live his life as he wishes, provided he follows the laws of this country. I don’t think same-sex marriage is right and never will, but I can’t stop someone from pursuing or being in a relationship with someone of the same sex.
Nevertheless, I have heard more than one person allude to the fact that the 34-year-old coming out is akin to what Jackie Robinson did for African Americans and Major League Baseball.
I find such a notion to be extremely unfair.
Robinson couldn’t hide his skin color. Collins, on the other hand, could and did hide his sexual orientation — as have many of his peers, given that he is the first active male athlete in any of the four major sports to come out.
It is a big day for the LGBT community, there’s no doubt about that. Collins will always be remembered as the first in what will one day likely be a long line of athletes to come out. His decision was a bold one, and I commend him for having the courage to do what he did.
But this isn’t a Robinson-like announcement, nor should it be treated like one.