So many across the sports world have chimed in offering support for free agent NBA center Jason Collins after the 34-year-old earlier this week became the first active pro athlete in a major American team sport to declare he is gay.
Jerry Stackhouse, a reserve for the Brooklyn Nets, took his encouragement of the former Nets big man a step further.
However, when asked if he believed close-minded team executives wouldn’t sign Collins over the offseason, Stackhouse expressed hope that this wouldn’t be the case. He then went on to say that having a gay player “might not be the best fit for their basketball team, but it’s a fit for where we need to go as a league.”
Stackhouse followed up that statement by suggesting that if Commissioner David Stern could somehow assure Collins a contract next season, he should.
That route, however, is one that the league should not take.
Collins is toward the end of his career and doesn’t need to receive any sort of special treatment. It’s highly unlikely that he would even want it to begin with. He is certainly one of the more respected veterans the league has to offer, and there’s a good chance that if he can’t earn a job because of his physical abilities, he wouldn’t want it anyway.
On top of that, the NBA doesn’t need to turn this into a PR stunt where they hand out a charity contract to a player just because he came out. If the NBA wants to show Collins and the rest of the gay community respect, Stern shouldn’t take Stackhouse’s advice.