One might look at the title of this post and wonder how those four things could possibly be connected. Well, I'm here to explain it. Please read on...
Recently, Jason Collins, a player for the Washington Wizards basketball team, came out as openly gay. The media immediately jumped on the story and it went nationwide. Not unusual for a major story about a very controversial and popular topic. Collins has now been anointed and praised as the “first openly gay major league athlete”, to which I say “Who really cares?” It’s his business and his life.
Obviously there are some who really care. President Obama took the time to congratulate Collins and offered support on Collins' courage and willingness to be the first in the four dominant pro sports to make this announcement. (I guess some people have been waiting for this event. But seriously, why is it an important issue?)
Michelle Obama also tweeted a message to Collins. "So proud of you, Jason Collins! This is a huge step forward for our country. We've got your back!" she tweeted, signing it "-mo," which indicates she - not an aide - sent the message.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that “here at the White House we view that as another example of the progress that has been made and the evolution that has been taking place in this country, and commend him for his courage, and support him in this effort and hope that his fans and his team support him going forward."
It seems as if coming out suddenly makes you a great American or something. I don't get it. There are so many people in this country that demonstrate their greatness on a regular basis and now your sexual preference is one of those things that gets you recognition?
As I said, I really don’t care about Jason Collins’ sexual preference or his announcement to the world concerning it. It doesn’t affect my life one way or the other. What bothers me about the announcement is the response from the White House. The President was quick to go public with support for Collins, which would be OK if he had been as quick to go public with praise and support of the victims and survivors of the Benghazi incident. I don’t remember reading about any tweets from the President or the First Lady in support of the survivors of that vicious and deadly attack in Libya. I don’t remember Jay Carney saying anything about them publicly. In fact, it seems as though the President did his best to conceal most of the information about Benghazi (and still is.) Could it be that the administration holds sports stars and celebrities in higher regard than American citizens who are in harm’s way overseas? Come to think of it, I don’t remember the President tweeting anything about Chris Kyle, a true American hero, when he died tragically. But let a pro basketball player announce he’s gay and that man gets the full support of the Obama administration. I’m sure he’ll be invited to the White House for a one on one with the President in the near future, and probably get some kind of an award for bravery.
There are those who will decide I’m simply a bigot, a homophobe, a racist, and that I simply hate the President, because of this post. And that’s OK. None of those could be further from the truth and people who decide who you are without knowing you are the ones with the problem. I’m simply saying I believe the President might have his priorities a little mixed up. As President and Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces, the Mr. Obama should be more concerned and supportive of federal employees and our military than anyone. They (federal employees and military) for the most part make him look good, after all. But he seems to place more importance on celebrities, pro athletes and golf than he does on real issues, like Islamic terrorism and… Islamic terrorism. He won’t even link the two words.
There are others who will echo Hillary Clinton’s words about Benghazi… “What difference, at this point, does it make?” To them I would say – ask the victims and family members of the Benghazi and Boston incidents. I would bet they might have some colorful explanations about why it matters. Or they could ask Jason Collins. I'm sure now that he's come out his opinion will carry more weight - at least with those who think it's important.