JACK'S SMACK: Jason Collins coming out sign of new age in sports, media

Jason Collins' revelation that he is gay has a far-reaching effect on nearly every walk of life.

Like many of you, I've scoured the Internet, and there is an overwhelming amount of support for Collins.

The fact that he's a professional athlete makes this story bigger than ever for many. We have a way of putting jocks on a pedestal, and it's usually the media which is portrayed as the bad guy when exposing a player's weakness or shortcoming.

I'm from the old school, and let's be honest. Back in the day, Collins' pronouncement that he is gay might have been construed as a weakness. It's refreshing to note, for the most part, this generation doesn't seem to have issues along those lines.

As a reporter, when we're critical of a player's performance, the player usually retaliates by blasting that media person for not having played the game at the pro level.

Remember several years ago when George Brett went ballistic with f-bombs on camera because he felt a handful of media types –- including this reporter -- was unfairly critical of then-Royals manager Trey Hillman? Several months later, the manager was canned.

The criticism of Hillman from the media was justified.

There is clearly an adversarial relationship between the media and professional athletes. It didn't use to be that way. But a lot of things have changed, in time – much of it for the better.

This is one time when the media has stepped forward in helping Collins with the message he wants to deliver, and its very simple.

It is okay to be gay -- and no one should have to go through life in hiding. Never!

That's Jack's Smack.

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