Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

May 1, 2013

AARON SNYDER: Hold off on praise of Collins

ASHLAND — Jason Collins chose to be gay, and he chose to be up front about that choice.

While there’s something to be said about the latter, I still can’t bring myself to pull from the grab bag of popular adjectives like “brave,” “courageous” and “heroic” to describe the NBA free agent’s decision to declare his sexual orientation in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated.

And, please, let’s refrain from referencing Jackie Robinson, as No. 42’s situation consisted of completely different circumstances.

Race isn’t a choice. Robinson was a black man because Robinson was born a black man.

In my opinion, one’s sexual preference (just as one’s religion) is a lifestyle choice. As a Christian, I’d be wrong to judge Collins for resorting to that path.

Actually, I’m confident that I wouldn’t treat Collins any differently even if I was in the same locker room. And I wouldn’t think more or less of him if I was a fan of his team.

What he does off the field is up to him.

What’s unsettling to me is that society deems it OK to criticize Tim Tebow about being up front about his religion, but if someone chooses not to praise Jason Collins for coming out as gay, then that’s socially unacceptable, politically incorrect.

This is a complicated subject, isn’t it?

To eliminate some of the touchiness of the topic, I’ll be sports-specific for a moment.

Here are the 7-footer’s career numbers in the NBA: 3.6 points per game, 3.8 rebounds a game and half a block per contest.

At 34, Collins is now looking for a job. He played for both the Celtics and Wizards this past season before becoming a free agent.

If he doesn’t get another playing opportunity, are NBA teams homophobic? No. That decision will be based on his production on the court.

And fans aren’t homophobic, either, if they choose to not crown Collins the king of courage.

In sports, let’s save the showering of praise for athletic accomplishments. Let’s limit the calls from the White House, too (yes, Collins received a ring from the president).

Collins was the first active athlete in one of the four major professional sports to announce that he’s gay, and there will likely be more to follow.

Somebody had to be the first, and while that took a leap out of his comfort zone, I prefer to preserve words like “brave,” “courageous” and “heroic” to use in other situations. Does that make me brave?

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Barnwell's K barrage lifts Boyd County

    In the 1990 film Jacob’s Ladder, the main character is haunted by memories of terrifying instances that occurred in his life before and during the Vietnam War.

    April 17, 2014

  • Lawrence serves ace

    Eight is great for Lawrence County tennis.
    After playing last year on four tennis courts badly in need of repair, LCHS now features a sparkling eight-court facility.

    April 17, 2014

  • Proposed plan a touchdown for Ashland, Central

    They’ll have to wait another year, but some major changes are on the horizon.

    April 15, 2014

  • Martin, Cannoy put pop on top of Boyd 12-2 win

    Boyd County’s softball bats are booming of late.

    April 14, 2014

  • Stock spiking for Raceland softball

    Raceland took a major step in trying to shift the balance of power in 63rd District softball.

    April 14, 2014

  • 0415eastSB0110.jpg Still chasing the Kittens

    East Carter entered Monday’s softball showdown with Ashland looking to show it’s a credible threat to the Kittens’ recent domination of the 16th Region.

    April 14, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local Sports in Brief: Bush, Porter Wendy's Heisman finalists

    Rose Hill Christian seniors David Bush and Myriah Porter have been named state finalists for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award.

    April 14, 2014

  • Paintsville tops Magoffin, 12-0

    Kash Daniel and Spencer Taylor combined to toss a one-hitter as Paintsville pounded Magoffin County, 12-0, on Monday night in the first of a two-game series between 57th District foes.

    April 14, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: Kittens on prowl for SS

    The Monday Morning Shortstop didn't have to dodge any actual darts at Ashland Softball Complex, although there may be an enlarged picture of him riddled with holes somewhere close by.
    If the piercing looks thrown my way weren't enough to sway me, the Kittens did more than enough on the field the past two weeks to distance themselves from a No. 5 ranking in northeastern Kentucky.

    April 13, 2014

  • 0414bcclassic0539.jpg Raceland girls, Boyd boys win track Classic

    As Boyd County first-year track and field coach Chris Holbrook stood on the infield and watched a member of Raceland’s 4-by-400-meter relay team circle the track in the final girls’ event of Saturday’s Boyd County Classic, he commented aloud to no one in particular, “She’s not showing any signs of running out of gas.”
    The Lady Rams had just enough in the tank to fend off the Lady Lions’ late charge and lock down their third victory of the young season, edging host Boyd County by six points, 171-165.
    On the boys’ side, Boyd County cruised, beating second-place Rowan County 175-114. A Lions club that finished 10th in last spring’s Class 2A, Region 6 meet has won all three meets it’s participated in this season.

    April 13, 2014 4 Photos