Jason Collins

Jason Collins, the 35-year-old Brooklyn Nets bench rider who is noteworthy for who he has sex with, presented his jersey to the family of Matthew Shepherd last night. The significance of this is that Collins wore #98 on his jersey — the year that Shepherd, a Wyoming college student, was killed in 1998 because he was gay.

According to the NBA, Collins’ jersey was the #1 selling jersey this week. It’s doubtful that NBA jerseys were flying off the shelves this week prior to Collins signing his 10-day contract with the Nets, but facts like that don’t generate headlines like celebrating Collins’ homosexuality does.

Collins, who averaged 1.1 points during his last season in the NBA, bested his average by scoring 3 points in Brooklyn’s lopsided win against Denver.

”I got them a bucket,” the Brooklyn Nets’ center said, referring to Shepherd’s parents who drove up from Casper, Wyoming to attend the game. ”And of course, I had what, like three, four, five fouls. So, I did my usual fouls and I got them a bucket. And a free throw.”

There is no question that Collins is a subpar NBA player at best, but the levels that the media will go to portray Collins as a hero is interesting. The irony is that men who have sex with men (MSM) remains #1 in new HIV cases in the U.S. No other risk category even comes close, including black women.

But facts like these don’t generate headlines.

Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) represent approximately 2% of the United States population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV. Source

The majority of Collins’ media cheerleaders are male journalists who are probably gay or bisexual themselves.

The message this sends to kids is that it is okay to be a dismal failure in life as long as you’re a black male who is homosexual.

Not everyone is thrilled over the hype surrounding Collins’ sexual preference.