Downstate Illinois sports editor knocked for knocking gay NBA player


Brian Nielsen, sports editor of the Journal Gazette and Times-Courier in Mattoon, Ill., wrote THIS DISJOINTED, SELF-CONTRADICTORY COLUMN the other day about Jason Collins (above), the first active player in a major American sports league to come out of the homosexual closet.

At the outset of his piece, Nielsen expresses the hope that it “is not misinterpreted as stones being thrown” at Collins — and then proceeds to throw stones.

He says Collins’ sexual orientation is a “lifestyle choice,” an unfounded assertion typical of gay-bashers.

He likens Collins’ sexuality to Tiger Woods’ “immoral lifestyle” when the golfer was cheating on his wife, and then adds:

“At least Woods, sincere or not, made a public apology for his faults and expressed the desire to change.

“Best that I can tell, Collins has not done that.”

He likens Collins’ sexuality to former NBA player Shawn Kemp having “fathered several illegitimate children with different women.”

He calls widespread public acceptance of homosexuality “political correctness [that] has overwhelmingly trumped Christian morals…” and says people who express such acceptance “have decided they know the rules better than God.”

A recurring theme in Nielsen’s column is that Collins should not be congratulated for having the courage to come out. The last sentence of his piece reads:

“[I]f Collins [sic] next basketball season is applauded for anything other than a basket, rebound or defensive play, that would be wrong as well.”

Reaction to Nielsen’s column generally has not been kind.

David Daley of Salon SAYS  “it might well be the most foul, ignorant and reprehensible piece of journalism written on Collins.”

There also are lots of negative comments at the end of Nielsen’s column and at the end of  THIS PIECE by journalism blogger Jim Romanesko.

UPDATE: It says HERE that Howard Kurtz, a much more prominent journalist than Brian Nielsen, also is in trouble for something he wrote about Jason Collins..



  1. Steverino

    Mattoon is very close to the Inditucky corridor.

  2. Brian Opsahl

    Hate comes in many form’s …

  3. I’m from Mattoon. I’m embarrassed. I knew this would happen the moment I finished reading the column. We are not all this stupid.

  4. Mike: I’m sure you’re not. Every town has its bigots.

    Most of the comments at the end of Brian Nielsen’s column speak well of the Mattoon community.

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