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UnknownJason Collins of the Boston Celtics bears the distinction of being an openly gay professional athlete clothed in Black and Male.   “Black Man” used as a term of strength and power coupled with gay may present to some as sort of an oxymoron. A bravado of masculinity in the professional athletic world seems to be valued at all cost regardless if it is irresponsible, brazen, hypersexual and/or hurtful.  No worries, this is not a male-bashing forum; nor is it a gay-bashing diatribe.  In fact, it’s not even an anti-professional athletes.  Instead, it’s a thought piece focused on our reactions toward homosexuality when Black Masculinity yearns for pride: education, upward mobility, healthy manhood, fatherhood, and husband-hood (if you will); where stereotypes are diminished in search of being demolished. Essentially, the shining example of a BMW (Black Man Working) in a pinstripe suit saving the so-called “Strong Black Woman” from the doldrums of having to do it all will be a more palatable and visible image than sagging pants hanging on the corner up to no good (or assumed as such).

So Michael Jordan’s marriage to a much younger White woman should not come as a surprise.  A number of Black male professional athletes were Unknown-1married to Black women, and later married White women (Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Casey Jones, Scottie Pippen, etc.).  Living in an America where same-color marriage was unwritten (and written) law, Black male professional athletes had the choice of marrying Black; or no one at all.  Some will say it’s because these men were exposed to a new living and life that their Black wives didn’t and/or never will understand.  Some will say that they believe White women are just better and less trouble.  However, my belief is that loving a White woman was what they wanted in the first place.  The national venue by which they played for was in agreement with the color politics of the land; and these men preferred to maintain their careers for the sake of their families – and themselves.

In other words, Jason Collins has a same-sex attraction and Michael Jordan has an attraction to White women.  There, I said it!  What does this say about Black Male Professional Athletes other than the fact there is a part of America that is allowing their preferences to be expressed in public; an exhaling if you will.  Disagreeing with same sex attraction does not make you homophobic any more than agreeing with same-color marriages makes you racist.  Simplistic as this sounds, your preferences make you and I human – and in 2013 this humanity has been extended to the Black Male Professional Athlete that does not get them labeled anti-masculine and anti Black woman.  This is simply just who they are.  Period.