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MURPHY’S LAW: Alford Being Alford, Only Tebow, Brands Dances, Collins Comes out

Posted on: 11:44 pm, April 29, 2013, by , updated on: 10:18am, April 30, 2013

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The Albuquerque Journal reports Steve Alford does not plan to pay New Mexico the million dollar buyout he owes. “I’m shocked!”, said no one. Alford and New Mexico have different takes on when Alford’s new 10-year deal started. The fact a coach can sign a ten-year deal, and then leave that week for another job, is ridiculous…

Dan Patrick Show Stat of the Day: In the past 25 years, 16 quarterbacks won the Heisman trophy. Of the 16, only one QB won an NFL playoff game: Tim Tebow…

Loved Tom Brands comment to Dan Winters during “Three Minutes in the Chair”. Brands says he’s just like anyone else: “When I buy new shoes, I dance in front of the mirror.” I like the quote, though I’m not sure it applies. It will next time I buy new shoes…

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Most Americans, including many sports fans, had not heard of Jason Collins before Monday. They know Jason Collins now. The 34-year-old NBA center out of Stanford is the first active man in a major United States sports league to announce he’s gay. If the first man out had been a household name, you’d hear even more about this story, but by any reasonable definition, it’s big news.

Reaction from around the NBA, and beyond, appears largely supportive. I’m not surprised. Polls show the majority of Americans, including this one, don’t see homosexuality as a choice. Most of us also don’t care what others do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. Some do.

I think Jason Collins shows courage. If it didn’t take guts, someone would have done it before now. A few athletes previously revealed they’re gay after their careers ended, but until now, no man had done it while planning a return to the locker room. This is how it was with one of my high school football teammates. My friend didn’t tell us he was gay until after graduation. I understand why, especially 30 years ago. It took Collins many years too. He’s now comfortable and confident enough to take this step. He’s brave. Some will say heroic. I won’t. And I’m sure he wouldn’t either.

I believe sports are ahead of society when it comes to social change. Teams tend to be melting pots, and people who normally don’t socialize are often thrown together for a common cause. Living in the South as a kid, I was largely oblivious to racial tension and prejudice because many of my teammates were black, and we hung out together all the time. I suspect the athletes of today are well aware they’ve played with gay teammates.

Collins is a free agent. Some fear it’s now less likely an NBA team will sign Collins. He’s a 7-footer nearing the end of his career as a reserve center. I think it’s actually more likely a team signs Collins. I believe the NBA wants to help break this barrier, and Collins is a good man to do it. In a perfect world, signed or not would depend solely on merit.

If Collins doesn’t sign, many will say he was blackballed because he’s gay. If he does sign, some will say it’s only because he is gay. Get ready for that. It’s predictable. It’s also predictable that Collins’ announcement quickly became divisive. I don’t believe I should tell someone how to feel, and I generally respect those who disagree with me. We should have no tolerance for hatred, and there’s some of that, but thoughtful discourse brings progress.

It’s interesting how many tweets I’ve seen either supporting Collins or condemning him using the bible as justification. I’m a Christian, but not a bible scholar. I’m not qualified to mix it up with those more learned than me. However, I do know the bible is so open to interpretation that people have used it to justify everything from slavery to genocide. I’d rather focus on the bible lessons of love, tolerance, and forgiveness. I benefit from all three…