Yesterday was a watershed moment in professional sports, with the public coming out of NBA player and former star Stanford Cardinal Jason Collins. Collins marks the first active male player to come out as gay in one of the four pro big leagues – the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. And what a wonderful human being to come out and be the Jackie Robinson of our time. After all, it could have been a player outed against his will. It could have been a player charged with domestic assault against his boyfriend. But instead it’s an erudite 34 year-old veteran, who graduated from Stanford University and wore the #98 on his jersey this past season in honor of The Trevor Project and Matthew Shepard, a young man tortured and killed in a notorious anti-gay hate crime.
Stanford University is rightly proud of its native son. “The Stanford Daily” today has a cover story about the reaction around The Farm to Collins’ coming out. Said the Stanford Athletic Director, Bernard Muir, in “The Stanford Daily,” “I am proud to hear that Jason, one of our Stanford sons, has taken a leadership role on this topic. On behalf of a diverse athletic community, I hope that we progress to the point in society where truthful moments like these are no longer newsworthy.” And of course, outside of The Farm, notables like former President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama, Martina Navratilova, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Dwayne Wade, Shaquille O’Neal, and so many others have added their voices to the chorus of support.
But why, we ask, is this not a story on the Stanford University website? Seriously? This is one of the biggest news stories in the media right now. You’d think that Stanford would want to pay tribute to one of its favorite sons on its homepage today (or yesterday). Or tomorrow. Right now, there’s a story about prospective Stanford students, a story about a novelist being honored, images of a transparent brain, and a story about inspiring high school teachers to teach science in new ways. Stanford University, Jason Collins is the Jackie Robinson to the LGBT community. This is big news. Put him up on your homepage and be proud that he hails from your university. Get with the program.
And, as an aside, Stanford is rated as one of the gay friendliest universities in the nation.