When I read about the way Howard Kurtz bungled the recent story about Jason Collins coming out, I went back to my original post about Collins and checked my own facts. I’m only an amateur blogger. I write fiction, not news. But I do post things that I think my readers will find interesting here on this amateur blog, and I don’t get paid anything for doing it. Clearly, not the figures Howard Kurtz receives.
In an embarrassing mea culpa of some magnitude, Kurtz, a former media reporter for the Washington Post as well as a CNN presenter, put his hands up to bungling a story about the first openly gay player in one of the major US professional team sports.
I’ve spoken about how the mainstream media doesn’t seem to focus much on anything gay related unless it involves sideshow appeal so many times it’s not worth linking now. I’ve also posted about how I basically stopped watching CNN after the 2008 presidential elections because of their lack of objectivity. And now this.
Eight Footballers Fear Coming Out
In a related story about pro-athletes coming out like Jason Collins did, eight footballers fear coming out because of backlash from fans.
In Britain, no professional footballer has come out and continued his career since Justin Fashanu in 1990. He stopped playing in 1994, but hanged himself four years later, aged 37. Fashanu had said that he had not been prepared for the backlash that followed his disclosure, and that his football career suffered “heavy damage” as a consequence.
I wonder if twenty years has made much of a difference. I was in my early twenties in the 90’s and I wasn’t completely out. I was for the most part in the sense that I didn’t say I wasn’t gay, but I also surrounded myself with gay people, chose to live in a gay friendly place, and remained separated from the straight community for the most part. In other words, I didn’t put myself out there in the mainstream. To a certain extent, I still don’t. It takes years of practice to survive as a gay person in this world, and old habits last. So I can’t help but wonder how this is all going to play out for anyone in the public eye who decides to come out. And I guess only time will tell.