Opinion: Collins Is No Jackie Robinson
When Americans think of Jackie Robinson, we think of a man who broke a real barrier, a man who endured slurs, taunting, physical abuse, and death threats because of the color of his skin. In Jackie Robinson, we have a man who played a role in changing the national consciousness about race. Much like today, sports held much sway over the national culture, and breaking baseball's color barrier was a significant step forward in the civil rights movement.
Since Jason Collins came out as a homosexual on Monday, opinion makers for Rolling Stone, USA Today, and CBS have compared Collins to Robinson.
In my humble opinion, the comparison is absurd, and the fact that the media has not expressed outrage shows how out of whack the media is with its approach to historical accuracy, basic journalism, and an all-encompassing desire to promote a liberal agenda.
Jason Collins is a pioneer in the sense that he is the "first."
But while Robinson faced slurs, bottles being thrown at him, a basic assumption that he was unworthy to play on the same field as white men, and serious death threats, Collins has been labeled a "hero" and has been universally lauded by the media and by those in power. Even those who have expressed personal views without a hint of hatred have been lambasted as bigoted homophobes on Collins' behalf. In short, Collins was applauded by the White House while Robinson was overcame barriers despite the scorn and violent hatred from significant portions of a nation and many within its power structures.
The media and the Left have rushed to embrace and to hype a relatively minor inactive NBA player as a cultural giant in the hopes of promoting their agenda for a national embrace of gay marriage. In the midst of that effort, they have minimized the heroics of an athlete who genuinely changed culture, who truly overcame barriers, and who left a legacy that has had a dramatic impact on our culture to this day.