We are pastors and leaders who have discovered that LGBT people are often the most faithful members of our congregations and denominations. We have received blessings upon blessings when we free them to be the people God made them to be and use the gifts that God gave them. In the same way, we are thankful that Jason Collins has been able to use his God-given gifts for athletics, and now has the freedom to be faithfully and authentically himself with the world. That is a cause for rejoicing, not of condemnation.
Where Tebow’s religiosity has been endlessly analyzed by the media and championed by the white religious right, the centrality of Collins’ Christianity and faith community in his decision to come out has been ignored. Collins’ faith hasn’t gotten the attention that his race has—apart from ESPN’s attention-grabbing decision to put Chris Broussard, a sports journalist with known, religiously-motivated homophobic views, on air to directly question him about his personal opinion of Collins’ Christian witness—in the process playing into popular narratives about black homophobia.
Robbie Rogers, an American soccer player who played several years in Europe before coming out as gay and then announcing he was returning to California to take a break from the sport, is now training with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
On Monday, NBA player Jason Collins became the first active athlete in a major American sports league to come out as gay. “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay,” Collins wrote in a Sports Illustrated cover story.
Outside the Lines is supposed to be the safe haven from all the bullshit. Bob Ley likes to call the show the Switzerland of ESPN. It's the thinking man's sports program—Bristol's answer to NewsHour. Sonorous reporters intoning Serious News.
In the first interview with his family since his coming out, NBA player Jason Collins will be speaking with Oprah on a special episode of Oprah's Next Chapter airing Sunday, May 5 at 8:00pm ET/PT on OWN. Collins made history this week when he became the first out gay active male pro athlete in America's major leagues.