by Kent Sterling
1070 the Fan host Dan Dakich and cbssports.com’s Gregg Doyel got passionate as they discussed the Jason Collins story during Dakich’s show today.
Both were reasonable and eventually met in the middle, deciding that the best possible response to the story itself is a shrug.
Neither thought Collins sexuality is relevant in a locker room, and that America will be a better place when a sports figure coming out is a non-story.
The disagreement was in casting anyone who doesn’t acknowledge the magnitude of the story as a bigot. Doyel’s logic was presumptive. He said that anyone who doesn’t care about the Collins announcement is not empathetic, and anyone mot empathetic toward the first gay active major league athlete must be a bigot.
Dan countered that empathy shouldn’t be restricted to gays, and that people who see things differently aren’t necessarily bad guys.
Doyel responded that anyone who evaluates people based on the writings of a 2,000 year old book are “knuckledraggers” too lazy to form their own opinions.
Dan said that keeping track of the good and bad guys in life is more difficult than that for him.
In the end, Doyel apologized, and acknowledged that he was hanged by his own logic in throwing a blanket over all people who read the Bible and follow its teachings.
It was excellent radio featuring two friends who were struggling a bit to understand where the other was coming from.
There are few hosts or guests who are able to enjoy a conversation that leads somewhere other than acrimony. Both Dakich and Doyel stated their perspective, listened to the other, and allowed the conversation to help shape their opinions.
If only we could do that in real life a little more often.
I wrote a couple of days ago that I didn’t care whether Collins is gay, and that I wished that the announcement was unnecessary. After hearing this conversation between smart guys, I’m thrilled that Collins opened up because it prompted really smart guys like Dan and Gregg to share their perspectives without the typical knee jerk and judgmental rancor that is so pervasive in media today.
Like any issue where loud ignorance invades reason, talking helps, and Collins talking has led to a lot more talking. That’s a starting place for people to shape an informed and reasonable philosophy.