Yes, It Matters.



One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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47 Responses

  1. Avatar Rod says:

    To me the wtf was a 10-day contract. Is that common? Some kind of try-out or probationary deal? Admittedly, I don’t pay a lot of attention to sports but I had never heard of that before.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Rod says:

      Ten-day contracts are pretty standard fare at this point in the year in the NBA. Teams are trying to round into their final form for the playoffs and are scouring unsigned guys or recently cut players (Collins was the latter). They give them a ten-day to see how they fit in. When that is finished, they can sign them to another ten-day. After that, they either need to sign them until the end of the year or cut ties entirely.

      Something I did not mention in the OP is that there is strong evidence that this was not done for PR reasons. The Nets originally tried to sign the recently cut Glen Davis but he opted to sign with the Clippers. Collins was their backup plan. This was clearly a basketball decision.Report

      • Avatar Rod in reply to Kazzy says:

        So a try-out deal. Okay, I learned something. And this…
        This was clearly a basketball decision.

        is the best poasible outcome. Being judged as a player with being gay irrelevant either way.Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Kazzy says:

        It’s worth mentioning also that the Nets are in no position to make PR moves right now – they went all-in on this season in trading for the aging Garnett/Pierce combination from Boston, and despite that were absolutely terrible for the first third of the season; they’re definitively not part of the large number of teams trying to tank. They were 10-21 on New Year’s Day. Now they’ve climbed up to 26-28, meaning they’re 16-7 since 1/1. They’re in the playoffs, but if they’re going to have any chance of making a deep run in the playoffs, they’re probably going to need to get up to the 3rd seed (and even then, it’s highly unlikely they’ll get past the second round since Indiana and Miami are so heads-and-tails above everyone else in the East). Even with their massive turnaround since 1/1, they’re still only in the 6 seed, which means their first round opponent (Toronto at the moment) would have home-court advantage. They’ve got four games to make up on Toronto if they want that 3 seed, and 2 and a half just to get to the 4 seed. They’re also just four games up on Detroit for the 8 seed, so they’re not even assured of a playoff spot yet.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        Great points, @mark-thompson . The Nets have so little room for error that making a PR move that negatively impacted the team would have been risked disaster.

        Though I will say there is something nice about another barrier being broken in Brooklyn.Report

      • Avatar Mo in reply to Kazzy says:

        This was probably made easier by the fact that Collins has previously played with the Nets, current Nets coach Jason Kidd* and a lot of the Nets players. Also, being a veteran team playing in NY, the media will be less of a distraction.

        * I would be shocked if Kidd didn’t know prior to the announcement.Report

  2. Avatar Chris says:

    Collins’ stat line yesterday was pretty much a typical Jason Collins stat line, too. He’s never been a scorer (he hasn’t averaged over 2 points per game since the ’05-’06 season), or much of a rebounder, and it’s been years since he averaged more than 10-15 minutes a game. He’s a big body in the middle who can give you a few hard-played minutes. I assume the Nets knew that, and he gave them exactly what they wanted yesterday, though he was perhaps a bit slow because he’s not in game shape yet (which might explain all the fouls in 10 minutes).Report

  3. Avatar James Hanley says:

    10 minutes, 2 rebounds, 5 fouls, a steal, and zero points. All-in-all, nothing particularly special,

    I don’t know, I’d say a foul every two minutes is kind of special. 😉

    Who Cares doesn’t sound like an honest rendering of this event or its impact. It sounds like being a crank

    Yes, because the answer is obvious. People who care about breaking down artificial barriers care. Particularly, many gay people will care. “Who cares” is such a stupid question, that we can probably assume it’s not actually a real question at all. That is, it demonstrates that the speaker does in fact care, because they’re somewhat unhappy about it.

    Now if someone really wanted to demonstrate they didn’t actually care, not making any noise about it at all would be more persuasive.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to James Hanley says:

      The entire Jason Gay piece is pretty fantastic.

      I think there might exist young people for whom this really does seem like not a big deal… for whom homosexuality seems more or less ubiquitous. So I think the question might show up earnestly here or there. But the vast majority of folks asking it? Yea… Gay nails it. The last sentence in particular: “Just because something is not meaningful to you doesn’t mean it’s not meaningful.”Report

  4. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I hate to sound like a crank myself, and I know there are certainly exceptions to what I’m about to say.


    My experience at this site and at the various online and radio media I consume suggest that the people saying loudly “Who cares?” on this and similar issue today are largely the same people who were telling me that these thing should never be allowed to happen a year or two ago.

    So I have a sense that the “who cares” stuff is, largely speaking, less “crank” and more “sour grapes.”Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      That makes sense to me since one group of people who did care and still does have something to be very happy about. The one’s who cared but view this event with grave sadness will be disinclined to say so explicitly or publicly. They’ll adopt a “it’s no big deal” aspect to it all.

      Of course, politically, that’s a good thing to say, even if disingenuous: most of us on the pro side are hoping that everyone adopts a “who cares” attitude about gays playing professional sports. That’d be somethin to celebrate.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I find that I genuinely take a “Who cares?” attitude towards Hollywood celebrities who come out. Unless they’re an actor or actress I am inclined to care about with regard to their personal lives or there is some other reason why it matters for this actor in particular.

      But we’re not there for athletes yet. It’ll really be cause for celebration when we are.Report

      • Or perhaps more accurately, my response is less “Who cares?” and more “Why should I care?” because I can figure why someone else would care (the same reason I might care, if it’s an actor I am a fan of).Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Will Truman says:

        I have gotten the same way with entertainers in general. Although perhaps less “who cares” and more “what else is on?,” because I do feel like someone who has been in the closet for the sake of their career deserves to be able say out loud “I’m gay,” regardless of social impact. So I don’t really begrudge Matt Bomer for coming out*, I just find I’m past celebrating an actor for coming out — which, I think, is a good thing.

        *I do, however, begrudge him for being impossibly good looking. Seriously, every time I watch White Collar with my wife, I feel like I should put a bag over my head for the rest of the night just out of common courtesy.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:

        Yeah, for me – since I’m not gay and don’t confront any of the relevant issues first hand – it’s about caring for the people who care about this stuff. If I meet someone who’s truly aggrieved by the prospects of gay integration into broader society, I feel something for them for sure. Some level of sympathy and compassion. Unfortunately for them, tho, my sympathy extends only so far. I care far more about the grief gays are subject to. That the arguments in favor of gay marriage are about as decisive as anything gets in moral theory (in my view) only adds to that concern.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

        I’m with you, Will. I suppose it’s a sign of the times that my general lack of interest in who celebrities are fishing extends to which gender they’re fishing.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Will Truman says:

        One of my favorite moments from Barney Miller:

        Wojo accidentally outs Officer Zitelli, but it all turns out OK. Not only does the NYPD not dismiss Zitelli, but they welcome the opportunity to appear gay-friendly, and he gets a plum assignment out of it. Officer Levitt, who has been trying to make detective for years, is outraged and exclaims “I’m gay too!” The entire squad room turns to look at him, and he shrugs.. “It was worth a shot.”Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

        @mike-schilling – “It was worth a shot.”

        and in honor of Harold Ramis:

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

        greg, Oh, I agree. I was replying to Mo. Should have put an @ in there.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I kind of read “crank” as “sour grapes”.

      In my personal experience, I also find that “Who cares?” is often coupled with “All the straight guys aren’t holding press conferences to discuss their sex life”. Which tells me there is some self-victimization going on there.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Kazzy says:

        The straight guys and gals have tabloids and publicists to talk about their sex lives for them.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

        Kazzy, speaking of self-victimization, did you see the Outside The Lines show yesterday about the use of the N word and the NFL’s decision to ban it? One of the issues talked about was how black people get to use that word and whites don’t, and how white people like to argue that this constitutes a double standard which penalizes whites. You know, the argument made by whites that whites are the real victims in all this.

        It was a very interesting discussion, at least the bits that I saw. The part I particularly liked was that the folks invited to comment on the NFL policy and broader culture were primarily black people who talked about black culture, and who explained why black people are justified in using it amongst themselves to the exclusion of whites. There was also some arguments that even black people using amongst themselves isn’t that cool (because of the history of the word). Very interesting. But what was very obvious to this reverse racist was the absence of any white panelist playing the victim role in all of it. It was … refreshing.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Kazzy says:

        It is sort of interesting how the white folks who complain about being victimized by not being able to say the N word generally don’t also complain about not being able to call Jews, Hispanics, etc ethnic slurs. Oh sure, i’d guess teddy nugent is pissed about that, but really it is really all about being able to call blacks and slurs. Most other groups don’t really get tossed in their as victimizers of whites.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:


        I was out to dinner when that aired, but saw it come on the muted television. I dialed up my phone to DVR it, but haven’t watched it yet. I was similarly refreshed to see black faces on the screen. From the glances I stole, the only white face I saw was Bob Ley, who I assume was moderating.

        From what I saw on Facebook, I also have the impression that somehow my hometown (Teaneck, NJ) was discussed. A few different peeps from high school were saying something about Teaneck being all over ESPN. Could have been for something else though.

        Tim Wise took an interesting stand on the word: Don’t ask if it is okay for you to use the term unless you have an interest in doing so. If you don’t, then don’t concern yourself with whatever double-standards you might perceive. The implication was that people who ask that question are secretly angry that they can’t use the word in a hostile manner. Now, if you know anything about Tim Wise, you’ll know he tends to prefer inflammatory to thoughtful. But I think there is some truth to the broader sentiment: People asking why white people can’t the N-word tend not to be truly interest in racial justice.Report

      • Avatar Mo in reply to Kazzy says:

        @greginak Not that I support the view, but part of it may be that Jews, Hispanics, etc. don’t use those racial slurs themselves. Or at least with the frequency that the n-word is used in pop culture.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

        The history of the n-word is a bit different than the histories of those other words, too.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Kazzy says:

        Mo and Chris…yeah there are differences, certainly. But i think the point still stands. The “oppression” of whites relates mostly to one group and one word. It is because that word has power and some people want to exercise that power against blacks.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:


        I still haven’t watched the special, but I did catch Wilbon on PTI and his thoughts mirrored my initial ones on the matter, namely that there is something unsettling about a bunch of white folks making rules about how black folks should interact with one another with respect to racialized language. I get that the white folks in this case are the bosses of the black folks and have the right to enforce workplace standards. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t problematic.

        And as I thought a bit more about it today, I wonder how much of the desire for such a rule is motivated by the Richie Incognito fiasco. Which means that not only do you have white guys telling black guys how to talk to one another, but they are doing so because a knucklehead white guy fucked up royally. “The boss says we can’t call each other that any more even though no one here is offended. Why, you ask? Because that white guy over there said it in a way that some people did find offensive.” That seems screwy to me.

        I haven’t fully thought it through, but my sense is that this is a well-intentioned idea that will likely severely miss the mark.Report

  5. Avatar Shazbot11 says:

    I care.

    Question answered.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Shazbot11 says:

      Robots don’t have sexual orientations to defend one or the other, do they? Seems to me you could go both ways on this.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

        If Bender can be hispanic, then robots can have genders and orientations. Maybe a guest post by Hedonismbot would clarify the parameters of robot sexuality.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Stillwater says:

        It must be old sitcom day.

        There’s an episode of Get Smart where Hymie falls in love with a beautiful robot spy who works for KAOS. They dream about quitting espionage and running away together, but they realize it won’t work. “Everywhere we go, people will point at us and say ‘He’s AC and she’s DC.'”Report

      • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Stillwater says:

        People seem to be forgetting the Irkel-Bot. Maybe with good reason. Whenever I think of Family Matters, I accept that life is meaningless and that the best for man is to never have been. Second best is to die soon.Report

  6. Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

    Dare I ask, was this post inspired by my comments in the Sunday thread?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to ScarletNumbers says:

      It was not lost on me that folks ’round these parts were paying attention to the game for a variety of reasons. Knowing there was a Swamp Dragons fan in the house made it that much more enjoyable to write.Report

  7. Avatar notme says:


    You are being too kind in calling Collins’ performance pedestrian. More play like that and they won’t keep him.

    In other news, your next “like mike” campaign may have to wait with Sam’s poor combine performance.–nfl.htmlReport

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to notme says:

      I’m going to ask you this point blank, @notme : Are you deriving any sort of joy or pleasure from Collins’ and Sam’s supposed struggles?Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to Kazzy says:


        Collins’ play is bad despite your refusal to admit it.. As for your “like mike” comment, that just seemed silly given the guy hasn’t had any career yet and there are legitimate questions about his ability to play in the NFL. Do my comments annoy you?Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        You didn’t answer the question, @notme . I’ll rephrase:

        Do you derive any joy or pleasure from these men’s struggles? Are you hoping they fail?Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to Kazzy says:


        I hope that if they have the talent they succeed. I just find your cheap hucksterism a bit much. As I said before, Collins’ numbers are bad and Mike has barely begun his career, so I’m not sure what you are cheering.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        I’m celebrating that an openly gay athlete was recruited to play basketball because prior to Sunday, that had never happened. And it never happened because a variety of forces conspired to keep athletes in the closet and gay men out of the locker room, two truly horrific things that just might be on the way out. The Nets saw Collins as a basketball player who could help their on court performance (which he did, by the way… +8 in 10m). The Nets didn’t care that he was gay. They only cared if he could ball. That is absolutely worth celebrating. Collins can succeed personally and professionally where previously he had to choose one or the other. That is a wholly positive thing to anyone who doesn’t think gays deserve less than straights.Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to Kazzy says:


        So I guess my answer wasn’t the one you hoped for b/c it seems as if you had another liberal rant pre-written. Frankly I think this is whole thing is odd as I’m sure folks knew Collins is gay, he just wasn’t publicly gay which is what liberals really seem to want. Gay or not he is a mediocre player so I’m not sure why you spend so much time cheering him.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Kazzy says:

        This seems moderately on point:


        This is good, but it got me thinking about something I heard Jeff Blair (former Globe and Mail sportswrtier, current Sportsnet590 radio personality) talk about. He was talking about a conversation he had with either Frank Robinson or Felipe Alou (I can’t remember which one because he was talking about both) about discrimination in baseball. And basically the guy told him that we’ll know that it’s gone, not when the greatest players can be black, but when the 25th player on the team, the last man on the bench, can be a black or latino guy. It’s easy to point at the acceptance and hiring of a great non-white athlete, because his skin color can be overlooked for the talent and success he brings the team, but it’s at the bottom, where players mostly bring the same skillset to the table where it’s an issue, where the color of your skin will determine whether you’re viewed as being a “team guy”, or “having heart” or “determination”, or the other intangibles that get attached to white people over non-white ones.

        This is also what affirmative action seeks to address. Everybody talks about “just hire the best person for the job!” but often the candidates are all equally qualified for the job, and the “best” keeps being the white man because of subconscious (or conscious) racism, because when it’s all equal, the white guy seems like a friendlier, more knowledgeable, more assertive, more trustworthy, less scary person whether he is or not.

        So it goes for queers.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy says:

        Probably Frank Robinson, who was an amazing player and the first black manager. Felipe was a good but not great player, which was fine for Latinos even back in his day.Report

  8. Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

    Collins’ stat line [Sunday] was relatively pedestrian

    Well how would describe his line last night?

    7 Minutes played, 0-1 shooting and that shot was blocked. No other statistics.

    For those who are curious, the Nets’ game tonight at the Denver Nuggets is being nationally televised by TNT.Report