Up for Debate: The media is all for show and little for support

While press is always better than no press, the media is simply spotlighting the LGBT community to benefit certain individuals.

Most recently Jason Collins made history becoming the first openly gay NBA player.

When considering which athletes and celebrities have been spotlighted as of late, it’s important to consider what was going on in their lives before they came out.

Jason Collins, veteran NBA player nearing the end of his career had basically nothing to lose. He announced his homosexuality to the world, being the first active NBA player (although he wasn’t signed to a team) to do so.

Fast forward to 2014; the Brooklyn Nets signed him to a 10-day contract.

In his first game, he received the attention of a superstar, with his pathetic stat line being front-page news after his first game (two rebounds, five fouls, 11 minutes). It absolutely takes some guts to come out at any point of your life, but in this situation Jason Collins had nothing to lose.

Worst-case scenario, he quietly sinks into retirement like he was planning to. Instead, he likely has the rest of his life to support his community.

Another athlete that came out recently was NFL prospect and hopeful, Michael Sam. Now Sam had more at stake than Collins, but he was still projected to be a late round draft pick (his chances of making a team, let alone playing, were not guaranteed).

Now he has a symbiotic relationship with the media, where a fourth round pick is being advertised with top picks such as Jadeveon Clowney and Johnny Manziel.

But what about all the differences it makes toward acceptance?

We have come such a long way this century, but we have also seen LGBT acceptance live on a pendulum.

In some instances the United States has made strides for same sex marriages while other regions of the world have not. Russia has been stubborn regarding the LGBT community, Arizona tries to deny rights of service, all while Uganda criminalizes homosexuality entirely.

These are the real issues that should be getting the focus, as politics and government ultimately have the say regarding what gays are allowed to do.

Editor’s note, July 24: This article originally had the headline of the other side of the Up for Debate in our newspaper. It’s been changed to its correct headline.