Hold on...did John Rocker just compare his 1999 Sports Illustrated piece to Jason Collins coming out via the same publication? Kinda. In his recent editorial for World Net Daily, the former big leaguer writes on how the SI cover story Jeff Pearlman penned about him (you remember the one, right?) related to the current one featuring the revelation by the NBA baller. And as it turns out...it's like comparing apples to asphalt. Feast your eyes on these choice nuggets. Jason Collins’ announcement of his sexuality caused a media sensation and was seen as a positive step forward for the National Basketball Association and professional sports in the U.S. True. In fact, the media coverage seemed to be taking a page right out of the script of an episode of “Glee” as sportswriters the nation over sang the praises of Collins’ “courageous” declaration. I'm starting to think that if it wasn't for "Glee", conservative blather would have no basis of comparison. Have they seen the show? It's not really worth the praise it receives. I am not gay, but I am a conservative who speaks impolite truths about topics we’re not supposed to mention in polite society anymore.
And by “polite” society, I mean a culture whose every idea must be vetted through the writers’ room of “Glee” for approval. More "Glee".
I’m looking around, but I don’t see any press excited about my “coming out.” Surprisingly, I don’t think I will receive any tweets, text messages, or emails in the next hour from friends, family, athletes, or bullpen catchers I knew back in the minors telling me how proud they are of me or how “strong” I am.
This whole Jason Collins saga should be a powerful reminder of why those individuals who are in the public eye (primarily athletes and actors) and who also harbor conservative views on politics don’t speak up. For a historical lesson, they can just look at what happened to me back in late 1999-2000 as a case study. Curiously, like Collins’ announcement, my original “coming out” as a conservative was also in the pages of Sports Illustrated. Let's stop here. "Coming out" as a bigot, er, conservative is not the same as being the first openly gay active player, especially since Rocker spent the better part of the last decade talking about being taken out of context or manipulated by Pearlman's hidden agenda. Besides, didn't Rocker purportedly come out (yup, using it again) as an "anti-gay dick" just last year while on CNN while he was trying to sell his book? If so, why would he think for a second that what is happening to Collins is remotely similar to what he went through. Point being, if Rocker is indeed the guy he, depending on what interview you read or watch, claims to be, he should be happy for Collins...not trying to make the case that he was treated unfairly. The past is the past...it's how we move on that matters. And, so far, Rocker is still spinning his wheels. For what it's worth, I've recently reached out to Rocker to talk baseball. I don't want to hear about his politics, religion or that "kid with purple hair" on the 7 train...I want to hear about the dude with a 95-mph fastball and unhittable slider. Do me a favor and drop the former closer an email suggesting he talk baseball with The Hall.