THE MAIL

May 13, 2013

Into the Light

Kudos to Jason Collins for acknowledging who he is and for standing up for his beliefs. Hopefully, we will soon come to the point when stories about athletes don't mention their race or sexual orientation, and when players like Tim Tebow aren't criticized because of their religious beliefs.

Ron Caputo, Chandler, Ariz.

LETTERS

As a former high school principal who has watched hundreds of teenagers struggle to fit in in the classroom, at the prom and on the playing field simply because they are gay, I had tears of joy in my eyes while reading Collins's story. High school can be a very difficult time for young people, and locker rooms are often breeding grounds for bullying and antigay behavior. I thank Collins for setting a positive example and making it a little easier for our children to be comfortable with who they are.

Laura Taylor, Champaign, Ill.

I found Collins's first-person account to be both candid and uplifting. He should be heralded as a courageous person who wants to be judged for his athletic talent while being allowed to live as he sees fit. I hope Collins will continue to be welcomed by his NBA peers and will work as an ambassador for other gay athletes who want a chance to be happy in life and on the job.

Paula Ketter, Springfield, Va.

I was very disappointed to see your Jason Collins cover. I subscribe to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to read about sports, not about an issue as divisive and controversial as homosexuality. Although I wish Collins no ill will, I do not celebrate his announcement and I do not appreciate SI's acting as an advocate or mouthpiece for Collins's alternative lifestyle.

Tim Willoughby, Tarpon Springs, Fla.

Has everyone forgotten about the late Glenn Burke, the Dodgers and A's outfielder in the 1970s? While he made no public announcements about his homosexuality during his playing days, he did acknowledge it to his teammates. In his 1995 autobiography, Out at Home: The Glenn Burke Story, Burke said that openness about his sexuality was not only the reason Los Angeles traded him to Oakland in '78, but it also caused him to be run out of baseball after only four seasons.

Mike Sciotto, Orlando

While I applaud Collins for coming out, it should also be noted that professional bowler Scott Norton has been openly gay since 2011. When he won the PBA Chameleon Championship in Las Vegas last November, he kissed and embraced his spouse on television, just as a heterosexual athlete would after a victory.

Robert Casey, Flanders, N.J.

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SOCIAL MEDIA

Would the Nets' coaching job be a good landing spot for 67-year-old Phil Jackson?

Nick Juskewycz Definitely. Big market. Potential NBA title contender. Right players for the triangle offense. Jackson could transform the Nets from a good team to a great one.

John Lindgren No. The Nets need a long-term solution. Jackson would most likely be a two-year rental. Brooklyn's front office needs to hire someone who can still be the coach there a decade from now.

Michael Hopfinger I can't see Jackson coaching anywhere but in L.A. as long as Kobe is in the league. Jackson is smart enough to know where his talents are best served, and Brooklyn is not the place.

Mike Phillips I don't think Jackson wants any part of the coach killer that is Deron Williams.

Alex Verkley He won't come back as a coach. If he returns to the NBA, it will be in the front office. A position like that with the Nets would be perfect for him.

Rakhem Seku Yes. Then he could persuade Dwight Howard to finally sign with Brooklyn. #instantcontenders

TWEET OF THE WEEK

"FOR THOSE OF YOU TWEETING CONGRATS TO ORB, YOU DO REALIZE MR. ED IS THE ONLY HORSE WHO COULD READ, RIGHT?"

JAY GLAZER (@JAYGLAZER)

PHOTOKWAKU ALSTON FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (COVER) PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (JACKSON)FOR May 6, 2013 PHOTOTWITER.COM (TWEET) PHOTO

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