With yesterday’s historic “coming out” by an NBA player, one cultural commentator is very concerned how that announcement may influence children who view professional athletes as role models.
NBA veteran Jason Collins disclosed in a first-person account posted Monday at SI.com that he is “gay.” Collins, 34, is a 12-year veteran of the National Basketball Association and has played for six teams during that time.
“I’m black. And I’m gay. I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation,” he states in the article.
White House spokesman Jay Carney on Monday called Collins’ decision to come out “courageous,” and added the White House supports him. The seven-foot, 255-pound center becomes the first active male player in one of the four major professional sports to publicly reveal his homosexuality.
Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality tells American Family News that Collins is actually struggling with homosexual sin.
“He was born with genes that made him tall. He wasn't born with a gay gene,” says LaBarbera. “I feel sorry for this man. He's being celebrated, which will encourage him to stay in his sin, and he needs to leave it like so many men and women have before him.”
The family advocate adds there is "a huge push to have homosexuality embraced in professional sports." Teams in the four major professional sports have special events to draw positive attention to the lifestyle and LaBarbera contends that is not healthy for children.
“These professional athletes are models for children, whether we like it or not,” he says. “And so this will lead the children embracing homosexuality and saying, Hey, it's good enough for Jason Collins it's good enough for me.”
It is LaBarbera's hope that Collins will encounter Christians who will help him leave the lifestyle by embracing Jesus Christ.