Sunday, May 5, 2013

Jason Collins, social progress, and the dilution of heroism

A hero is someone who can your breath away

Jason Collins is not a hero. 

In order to be a hero, a person must be able to show that they have distinguished themselves by doing something that is abnormal. In order for Jason Collins to be a hero for admitting that he is a gay man, an acknowledgement must be made that being gay is abnormal, being a gay athlete is abnormal, and lastly that being an out of the closet gay athlete who is still playing is extremely abnormal.

If equality means that there is no "normal" sexual orientation, then how is someone a hero for telling the truth about who they actually are?

What Jason Collins' coming out represents more than heroism is social progress. The response from the media and public was almost universally positive, and it looks as if he'll get a chance to continue his NBA career despite the fact that he is a marginal player and has been for quite some time.

Isn't it possible that we can applaud social progress without applying hyperbolic praise to people that admit to an essential trait that doesn't make them any different than millions of other Americans?

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