130429104012-jason-collins-profile-single-image-cutAdding yet another two cents into the Jason Collins well of public opinion is self-professed “small-town sports editor” Brian Nielsen of the Journal Gazette & Times CourierNielsen takes issue with the “hero’s welcome” Collins has received since coming out and instead of being hailed a pioneer, Nielsen implies that Collins should apologize.

Not only does Nielsen call being gay a “lifestyle choice,” but he also equates it with sin, noting that he would “hope to find mercy and forgiveness” for his moral shortcomings “not applause ” like Collins has for his:

Still we have people calling Collins a pioneer.

I never heard that, and rightfully so, when NBA player Shawn Kemp had fathered several illegitimate children with different women…More recently, Tiger Woods’ career tumbled and he lost a large amount of sponsorship dollars once his immoral lifestyle came to light.

At least Woods, sincere or not, made a public apology for his faults and expressed the desire to change.

Best that I can tell, Collins has not done that.

What should be a small-town sports column turns into another small-minded diatribe about the hell-baiting lack of Christian morals in society today. According to Nielsen, his article required the publisher’s approval since his “opinion is so against the current trend.” Not if that trend was started by Pat Robertson when he was a kid (some 800 years ago) or by any of the other conservative crazies who habitually crawl out from the moist stone they’ve been hiding under to shake their fists feebly at the march of time passing them by.

Sure, Jason Collins’ coming-out has been devoured, regurgitated, and then swallowed up again by the media, but it’s 2013. That it took nearly 70 years after Jackie Robinson integrated baseball for a male athlete to come out on a major sports team (if it is only the Washington Wizards) may not be heroic, but it’s at least groundbreaking. But if anything, Nielsen reminds us that for someone in Collins’ position, coming out at  a time when homosexuality is still held as some moral deficiency by people who can (presumably) read above a first grade level is kind of heroic after all.

(h/t: Jim Romenesko)

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