How BuzzFeed, Deadspin, and the Internet Ruled the Day Jason Collins Came Out of the Closet


by Connor Foote

Lotus Land Correspondent, White Cover Magazine


Sometimes, I forget I’m 25. I forget I’m over 18 most days, but then days like today happen — days when Jason Collins becomes the “first” openly gay athlete in a major North American sports — and I’m still somehow surprised that traditional media outlets aren’t our best source for opinion, analysis, or reverse angles anymore.

The New York Times wasn’t on top of it. I didn’t go to CBS Sports, and I didn’t give a damn about what anyone on CNN might have thought about it. (I abandoned those networks during the Manti Te’o saga, when no television station in America gave Gawker even a shred of credit for breaking a story they would have all tossed out of their top floor windows.)

Not even Sports Illustrated had today’s best coverage of Collins’s announcement, and it was Sports Illustrated that wrote the whole damn story.

No. Today, I found myself on the BuzzFeeds and the Deadspins and the random blogs of the world. I didn’t want to know the story, because that’s too easy now. JASON COLLINS IS GAY. We get it. Nope. I wanted to know what the fringe thought. I wanted to know what Gawker Media owner Nick Denton — a very open and high-profile homosexual — thought. I wanted to know what the meanest people in America — aka bloggers with an avatar — thought.

I loved this video from YES, because Mike Francesca was able to activate his honest and unfazed opinion without coming across as disrespectful to Collins’s declaration (at least, I never found it disrespectful).

(And, of course, the video was embedded and presented by BuzzFeed. “Yeah, the historic moment of the first active male professional athlete coming out of the closet isn’t compelling at all,” wrote BF’s Jack Moore. “You’re totally right, Francesa.”)

I also enjoyed BuzzgawkerFeed’s very obvious recap of today, headlined with the appropriate tag, “Pro Female Athletes Have Been Out For Decades”.

I don’t believe it’s an attempt to take anything away Jason Collins, but certainly an attempt to give more credit to female athletes who are too often viewed below their male counterparts. While female hockey players and basketball players are not on the same athletic wavelength or exist in the same stratosphere of celebrity, they shouldn’t be dismissed as a “nothingless” piece of civilization.

The article tiptoes through tennis’s two lesbian superstars — Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King — and then wades through golf, basketball, and the Olympics with names like Megan Rapinoe and Brittney Griner.

And, of course, there was Deadspin.

“Mike Wallace Has Dumb Thoughts About Gay People”.

That was today’s piece from writer Tom Ley. (Read it for details.)

And, there was this beauty from last September, titled “They Won’t Magically Turn You Into A Lustful Cockmonster”.

Click and Enjoy.