King Reasonoid Matt Welch reminds us that ESPN’s Chris Broussard apparently has every right to be a homophobic fundamentalist bigot about NBA player Jason Collins coming out because AMERICA.
Broussard is predictably getting beaten to a rhetoric pulp on Twitter. And while I think today is a wonderful, watershed day for people (especially the artist formerly known as Ron Artest) to live as open and free as they wanna be, I agree with the New York Post editorial Robert George here:
Chris Broussard spoke what more than a few players feel. If such comments aren’t expressed, a real conversation can’t be had.
I’m trying to come up with what “real conversation” Broussard is adding when he says Collins is a sinner who is “walking in open rebellion to Jesus Christ.” But here’s where Welch goes with this as he brings in the civil rights movement in sports and the racism Jackie Robinson faced:
Now, there is no doubt that Jackie Robinson vehemently disagreed with this go-slow sentiment, but he also understood that you can’t always persuade fence-sitters through a two-handed chest-shove.* And sometimes engaging with the I’m not ready to go that far just yet crowd brings out the best in activists. See, for example, Martin Luther King’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail.”
Bigotry brings conflict which brings “real conversations” which brings out the best in people, not the worst, so apparently we need bigotry, racism, and outright ignorance in America because FREEDOMS AND THE LIBERTY.
On the other hand, Welch basically saying that the struggle of racism was necessary in order to forge a leader as brilliant as Dr. King is just about the best example of false equivalence Glibertarian nonsense that I’ve ever seen, so there’s that. Dave Zirin’s take on Jason Collins is worth reading just as a reminder that Welch is full of crap, as usual, and the real change comes from those standing up to idiots like him who give bigotry acceptable cover in the first place because “conflict creates change”. That’s great if you’re a megalomaniac with a space fortress and an army of flying cyborg raptor ninjas, not so great if you want to live in a world where people are decent towards each other because people are decent.[UPDATE] Dave Zirin makes this point about Jackie Robinson:
@zandarvts Also re: Matt Welch:Jackie R at the end of his life believed w/regret he should have pushed much harder. Read his memoir.
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) April 30, 2013
Which is true.