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If you’re a sports fan, or even if you’re not, you’ve likely heard about NBA athlete Jason Collins publicly announcing that he’s gay. Of course, gays in professional sports is hardly a revelation, but Collins has the distinction of being the first openly gay athlete who currently plays for a major American team sport. It’s making headlines everywhere, right on up to the cover of Sports Illustrated.
While the media begins developing this story into the next pop culture melodrama, let’s be honest about something: gays coming out in pro sports is not that big a deal. It’ no secret, and I don’t think anyone is pretending that it is. But I’m waiting for the politically correct enforcement team to take the field and begin transforming professional sports into a gay rights contest.
If we apply the standards that are already in force over the public at large, I think we can extrapolate how our country’s misguided do-gooders will approach the new football season in light of the Jason Collins phenomenon. For example, if a player commits a personal foul against a gay player, will an additional “hate foul” penalty be assessed? Perhaps the NFL will have to form a gay rights rules committee to monitor alleged dirty play aimed at gay players. And what about bounties against gays on the field, similar to the New Orleans Saints scandal that came to light two years ago? It’s all an exaggeration perhaps, but not by much.
However all of this plays out, it’s nearly certain that the NFL is going to find themselves on the receiving end of unreasonable scrutiny by PC alarmists who see discrimination in every public comment, gesture, and transaction. From here on out, every draft decision, contract negotiation, or league decision involving a gay athlete will be evaluated and discussed through the prism of alleged gay mistreatment. Hey, call me cynical.