Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On Jason Collins, Chris Broussard, and the (Non) Uproar

Chris Broussard's anti-gay statements on ESPN today provoked some backlash, but I'm more struck by how little reaction there has been. Maybe this is because they were voiced relatively respectfully, or maybe it's because no one wants to spoil Collins' big day by focusing on something negative. I think it's because there have been so much prominent support of Collins that a statement against homosexuality by a second-tier sports journalist just doesn't feel like that big of a deal. The degree of backlash to a politically incorrect statement has more to do with how culturally sensitive the topic is than how "bad" the statement was. Like disagreeing with miscegenation, disagreeing with homosexuality seems on its way towards becoming quaint and harmless so long as no physical harm is threatened. ESPN seems to get this; I hope that Broussard continues to keep his job as a reminder of how the thoroughly the outpouring of support from within and outside of the sports world marginalized his views.