Jason Collins has placed "a huge burden on his shoulders" by coming out as the NBA’s first gay player — with his confession mushrooming way beyond anything to do with sports, political commentator Armstrong Williams says.
"All we care about is whether Jason is a good team player, whether he's taking care of his business on the court and his players and his teammates trust him, whether he's a good citizen," Williams told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"His sexuality says literally nothing. What does being gay say about him in terms of his character and his being a good citizen giving back to the community? And the fact his Twitter feed has gone from 100 a day to 10,000 a day . . . because he's come out of the closet? Look, it's bizarre."
Collins — a center with the Washington Wizards, who’s played with the Celtics, Hawks, and Nets and appeared in nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons — took to Sport Illustrated to admit he is gay and recently broke off his engagement to a woman.
The controversial confession has been hailed by gay and civil-right groups, who believe this may open the door for other professional athletes to come out of the closet.
"The problem is that they're using him as the flavor of the month, they're just using him," said Williams, a Republican who served as confidential assistant to the chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
"Obviously he's placed a huge burden on his shoulders. I don't know if he has the fortitude to stand up to that kind of intense scrutiny . . . He's being very naïve."
Williams, author of "Reawakening Virtues," and host of "The Armstrong Williams Show" on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, noted that for those who are only interested in whether Collins plays well, "this is the 'who cares' moment."
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