According to Tim Brando's dictionary, Jason Collins is not a hero.
With Collins' decision to come out and his eloquent editorial for Sports Illustrated dominating conversation in the sports world on Monday, the CBS play-by-play announcer and radio host ranted on Twitter about the "hero worship" occurring. Expressing a sentiment that echoed one shared by Ben Shapiro, editor-at-large for Breitbart.com, Brando railed against those who consider Collins to be a hero for becoming the first active openly gay athlete in any of the major U.S. team sports.
In response to a question about the backlash that his comments generated, Brando offered an explanation as to why his perspective was not popular.
.@callmeg_unit Simple Being a a Christian White male over 50 that's raised a family means nothing in today's culture. The sad truth. Period.
— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) April 29, 2013
Although Brando does not specify what dictionary he consulted, here are four definitions for "hero" offered by Merriam-Webster, who has been "America's leading and most-trusted provider of language information" for more than 150 years.
- a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability
- an illustrious warrior
- a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities
- one who shows great courage
While Collins is not a "mythical or legendary figure" or "illustrious warrior," he is certainly being rightfully commended for his courageous decision and appears to be widely admired for his on-court achievements as well the noble qualities displayed in his writing and actions.