Jason Collins is far more famous as an openly gay NBA player than he ever was as an NBA player whose sexuality was private. Why? Because Jason Collins was a mediocre talent in professional basketball. He had his moments, particularly defensively, in the playoffs some years ago for the New Jersey Nets, where his mobility and size (7-0, 260 pounds) was useful in the middle against opposing big men.
But before the whole world knew Collins was gay, the former Stanford center had played for six teams in 12 seasons, the last being the 2012-13 season, with the Celtics and Wizards. Boston, despite being absolutely desperate for help in the middle, sent Collins to Washington after Collins had played only ten minutes a game, shot a dreadful .348 from the floor, and averaged just 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. An awful Wizards team used Collins even less, just nine minutes per game over six games. Collins made just one of six field goals (.167), and had just eight rebounds in 54 minutes. For his career, Collins has averaged fewer than four points and four rebounds per game, and is an abysmal shooter from the floor (.410) and the free throw line (.647). Hardly Chamberlain-esque numbers. And those numbers have fallen off the cliff in the last few seasons, as Collins has ridden the bench for Atlanta, Memphis, and Minnesota, along with Boston and Washington.
So, after a summer where Collins very publicly announced he was gay, there is speculation that his sexual orientation is the reason no other team has signed him. Today there was an article decrying NBA teams for not wanting a media circus around Collins, and how unfair it was. Can you remember similar being said about devout Christian quarterback Tim Tebow? Me either. One NBA executive, an openly gay one, naturally, said that a team “just has to” call him. Bear in mind that the NBA veteran minimum salary is in the range of $1.5 million dollars.
So here we see activism in action. Jason Collins seems like a decent guy who was a sometimes-serviceable NBA back-up for a number of years. Of late, he has not been anything approaching that. Instead, he has been a waiver-wire discard from teams that have needed big-man help. Now he is almost 35, and has clearly lost a step on defense, the only aspect of his game that could possibly help an NBA roster. He is all but helpless on offense, a terrible shooter and free throw shooter, and a dismal rebounder for his size. But, because he is openly gay, and announced such in an ostentatious manner, there are advocates and activists willing to point fingers and insinuate (if not openly charge) that the only reason he is not on an NBA roster is homophobia. Being gay, he no longer has to earn a roster spot, but “deserves” one. At one and a half mil per year. Ahead of, in all likelihood, someone considerably younger and with more promise.
Such is the way with advocates. They want THEIR person, irrespective of comparative talents and value to an organization. Such attitude is rampant in government at all levels, and is now fully entrenched in our Armed Forces, where leadership first caved into such advocacy, and now embraces it. It is how we got Holly Graf inflicted on the sailors of TWO different sea commands, with predictable and disastrous results. And how we got General Casey issuing forth about “diversity” before the victims of an Islamic Extremist accessed and promoted by his Army were even cold. Such active advocacy for race, gender, and sexual preference (or any other political sensitivity) is the purview of cowards and charlatans. Those that advocacy thrusts into positions of responsibility and command are as deserving of such privilege as Jason Collins is of an NBA roster spot.