Farah on Jason Collins

Longtime NBA journeyman Jason Collins became the first American male in a major sport to come out as gay the other day and Joseph Farah is none too happy about it. With no evidence whatsoever, he basically accuses Collins of only doing it to pressure teams to keep signing him and to get wealth and attention:

Excuse me if I suggest this is not exactly the Jackie Robinson story.

Collins played in a total of 38 games this season, split between two teams. Even a celebratory article in the New York Times referred to him honestly as a “marginal player with limited skills.”

No teams were scrambling to sign him to a new contract before he played the “gay” card. But with the help of some very big-name cheerleaders not known for their sports acumen, he has successfully raised his presence in the marketplace as a relatively low-priced box-office curiosity – a man who may not shoot hoops very effectively, but who may boost attendance for some club just by riding the bench as a backup player…

You can almost guess what comes next.

Will the teams officially declaring their support for Collins actually offer him a contract?

If they don’t, will they be accused of discrimination?

In his Sports Illustrated essay, Collins is clearly looking for a job: “I’ve reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.”

Whether or not Collins ever plays professional basketball or not, you can be assured he will not suffer. There will be book contracts, movie deals and lots of personal appearances.

Who says sin doesn’t pay?

Here’s the thing about Farah: He simply cannot imagine that Jason Collins is an actual human being. Once he applies the gay label to him, he simply isn’t a person anymore. He’s just an evil archetype, incapable of doing anything with sincere motives. He can’t possible have done this for any genuine desire to live his life honestly or to help other gay athletes do the same. It must all be a scam.

And what can one say about the obsession by people like the Obamas and the Clintons in making heroes out of people because of their sexual proclivities?

And another irony meter bites the dust. The only one obsessed here is you, Joe.

13 comments on this post.
  1. David C Brayton:

    Because coming out of the closet has worked so well for so many others.

    Would Farah’s review of Tom Hanks’ movie Philadelphia be entitled ‘The Feel Good Movie of the Year’?

  2. cptdoom:

    From Farah’s screed:

    Little-known, little-considered NBA backup center Jason Collins hasn’t had what you would call a star career in basketball.

    At the age of 34, he’s played for six different teams in 12 years. He has never made an All-Star team. He’s never been a scoring threat – at least in terms of points on the board. In fact, he has never even been a full-time starting player on any of those teams.

    Right now he’s without a contract for next year.

    Three thoughts:

    1) How many years have you played in the NBA, Mr.Farah, and how long would it take you to earn the $32 million in earnings, which is Collins’ current lifetime total?

    2) Except for the 12-year career and being a starting player, you could be describing another player who made a bigger mark for his embrace of sin – in this case heresy and blasphemy – than for his playing skills. Of course, because he embraced your sin, Mr. Farah, you and your fellow travellers couldn’t praise him enough. Will Mr. Tebow sue for religious discrimination if every NFL team comes to the conclusion that the media circus that surrounds him isn’t worth the “benefit” of his limited skills?

    3) So what if Jason Collins thinks, quite rightly IMHO, that this announcement will increase, very slightly, his chances of getting a contract next year (and one with a team who actually needs and plays him, unlike the Wizards, who only got Collins as part of a trade and didn’t really need him)? I’m a member of Outsports, a web community for gay athletes and sports fans. As we’ve discussed over the years (it’s been around since 1999, I’ve been a member since 2000) that potential ways in which an active male pro player would come out, the journeyman at the end of his career who wanted a bit of extra publicity and endorsements that would come from being the first was certainly one we considered. Given that Collins’ jersey accounted for 100% of Wizard sales in the 48 hours after his announcement (I would have bought one, except they’re $259!), it’s not necessarily wrong to think this could increase his chances of getting signed. Should Collins have timed his announcement so it would only harm his career? What conservative could support that?

  3. tbp1:

    As I commented over there, heterosexual pro athletes are not exactly noted for clean living and sexual purity, and I’ve seen very little commentary about that on Christian websites (actually none, but then I don’t follow sports or Christian websites much, so I could have missed it).

    Also, I don’t get this obsession with portraying him as a backbencher, and hence, unimportant. I couldn’t find an exact figure for the number of players in the NBA, but there are 30 teams, who can have a maximum of 15 players on the roster, so the largest possible number at any given moment is 450. How many thousands, even tens of thousands, of basketball players aspired to that handful of positions? How many people play even a single day in any pro sport, let alone 12 full seasons? Even if Mr. Collins is objectively the worst player in the NBA, he’s still a world-class athlete, an elite among elites. The last chair second violin in the Berlin Philharmonic is still in the Berlin Philharmonic. The person at the bottom of his or her Harvard med school class is still a Harvard MD.

    I’m not sure I think his actions rise to the level of heroism (I think we use the word “hero” so readily these days it’s almost meaningless), or that the Jackie Robinson comparisons are completely justified, but what what he did took guts, and is admirable and important. Good on him.

  4. ragingapathy:

    “And what can one say about the obsession by people like the Obamas and the Clintons in making heroes out of people because of their sexual proclivities?”

    Really, Farah? Because of the “proclivities?” OOOOH someone get him his fainting couch, lest he say something dirty… And why (well, I think I know why) is this about the the proclivities? It might be about courage, just maybe. Makes me wish disingenuous, white, wingnut, fundies were a persecuted minority.

  5. slc1:

    Re cptdoom @ #2

    If the Wizards, who are not exactly loaded with talent as evidenced by their record don’t need Collins, what other teem in the NBA would need him?

  6. gopiballava:

    “And what can one say about the obsession by people like the Obamas and the Clintons in making heroes out of people because of their sexual proclivities?”

    Well, what I can say about it is that they’re not heroes because of their proclivities. They’re heroes because they stand up to people like you. I don’t care about their sexual proclivities. It doesn’t matter to me.

    You are demonizing them for their proclivities because they don’t follow your interpretation of your religion. If you can attack and criticize somebody for a characteristic, you shouldn’t be surprised if those who think these proclivities aren’t immoral choose to do the opposite to counteract you.

  7. cptdoom:

    If the Wizards, who are not exactly loaded with talent as evidenced by their record don’t need Collins, what other teem in the NBA would need him?

    The consensus of the sports analysts I’ve heard over the last few days is that the Wizards already have enough players that can serve the same role as Collins – a big man coming off the bench to relieve the starter who, while not that productive on offense, can provide good defense and foul when strategically necessary. There are other teams that do need someone to fill that role, and it is thought one of those teams would be the one to sign Collins.

  8. dingojack:

    “a marginal player with limited skills.”

    What, like Tim Tebow? (or whatever his name is)

    Dingo

  9. lofgren:

    if the MVP in the NBA came out as gay, the WND would say he was too chicken to do it at the start of his career and accuse him of deliberately lying to the world, thus proving that gays are duplicitous cowards. There is no way to win with them.

  10. grumpyoldfart:

    An American seeking wealth and attention !?

    Has anything like this ever happened before?

  11. sezme:

    Farah: “Who says sin doesn’t pay?”

    It’s a sin to play basketball? wHO KNEW?

  12. sezme:

    Can I trade Collins and two of my inflatable girls for a message editor?

  13. slc1:

    Re cptdoom @ #7

    Apparently then, the Wizards are so loaded with talent at the center position that they don’t need Collins. If so, they seem to lack it at many other positions. Perhaps they should consider a trade to improve some of those other positions.

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