NBA Center Jason Collins became the first male professional U.S. athlete in a major team sport to come out of the closet to the public, publishing his incredibly well-written personal essay in the newest issue of Sports Illustrated.
This announcement was a big deal. Jason's coming out story garnered extensive attention among sports fans everywhere, the mainstream news, and even earned him shout-outs of congratulations from the White House and former President Clinton.
Despite the overwhelmingly positive response from his teammates, the NBA, and his fans, there are still many, there are plenty of people who have used both homophobic and ethnic slurs to describe Jason Collins.
However, I'd like to play a variation on the identify-the-jerks-on-Twitter, which I think is more illuminating.
Instead of disciplining athletes who are naive about LGBT issues, and who have existed in an environment without openly gay peers over their entire professional careers, let's focus our attention on the Supreme Court justices. They will be soon be deciding whether or not to continue to oppress LGBT people, when they decide the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. Let's focus on the mistakes and prejudices of people in power, and not just haters on social media.
Below are some messages on Twitter for Jason from his fellow athletes, friends, and other public figures. interspersed with actual quotes that current members of the Supreme Court have written or said about homosexuality.
First, the haters:
1. Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver Mike Wallace is confused about homosexuality.
2. But at least he quickly admits his ignorance, and then (sort-of) apologizes.
3. In comparison we have these real quotes (but fake Tweets) from Supreme Court Justice Scalia.
4. Justice Scalia has a long and storied career, full of hateful quotes about LGBT people.
5. Here's pseudo-moderate pandering from Justice Alito, looking for a less blatantly homophobic reason to disapprove of same-sex marriage.
Now for Jason Collins and the LGBT community's real supporters on Twitter:
1. The famous Kobe Bryant.
2. Jason's former teammate Baron Davis.
3. Retired basketball player John Amaechi.
4. The entire Washington Wizards team.
For more Tweets on LGBT culture and politics, or thoughts on Twitter culture, follow @sbakkila!