This week the sports world was supposedly stunned to discover that the NBA has a basketball player who is black and gay. Shock. Horror. Hold the front page.
Black and gay. Who would have thought it? What’s next? A Headline: The US president Barack Obama is secretly gay. Kobe Bryant is bisexual. I would believe it. I would believe anything now knowing the NBA has been secretly courting homosexual Jason Collins in the multi-billion dollar heterosexual world of hoops.
Get a grip. Where’s the story? I was stunned to see, hear and read everyone from CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, to the BBC’s Naga Munchetty blurt out black and gay with such emphasis in headlines that I could start a conspiracy theory the Syrian government gassed the world’s Western media back to the 1960s this week and Rosa Parks was about to appear as a live guest to discuss her thoughts on what this means for civil rights.
Why did this dominate the airwaves so much?
The news was of such magnitude it warranted a congratulatory call from the US president in between security briefings on supposed chemical weapon use in Syria and questions over new secrets from the grave of the Benghazi farce and disaster.
The call of pride from the commander-in-chief makes me want to raise my arm to my shoulder and sing the Star Spangled Bannerwith added vim.
Truthfully, it makes me want to vomit. As does the fact we are still consistently reminded that the current president of the United States incidentally happens to be a color other than white.
This from news stations who torture themselves - and sometimes screw up - how they report Israel and Gaza and who and what is occupied or not.
I think the news industry’s mind was pre-occupied with something else when around the world the story dominated the news networks and the next day’s papers. But cui bono? Who benefits? A question that must be applied to every story. Great sales and a good get for Sports Illustrated. Without a doubt. But should this seriously dominate the international news agenda in 2013?
The story might not be an everyday occurrence but I think the media, especially TV, is known to be daubed with a fair share of pink and I think that drove up the news values of the story.
I know there are people in certain parts of the US dancing crazily with snakes that the soul of Jason Collins be cleansed by the devil, but a sports star coming out should hardly be headline news with all that is currently going on in the world.
What’s more obscene is the average salary of a player in the NBA is around $3.5 million.
Despite being agnostic I would like to pray to the lord I am blessed with this fortune like the gay, black basketball player from a country and sport full of homophobes who persistently use the ‘n’ and the ‘f’ word.
His courage and bravery should rightly be saluted, but its validity as a story should be questioned without doubt.