Out athletes and dissent

Is there a way for those who disagree to have a civil discourse?

Updated: May 2, 2013, 6:23 PM ET
By Johnette Howard | ESPN.com

In the groundbreaking first-person story that he wrote in Sports Illustrated, Jason Collins anticipated that his passage through the NBA next season would include people who are opposed or uncomfortable with his decision to acknowledge he's gay. And he offered an admirably straightforward, grown-up solution: "I'll sit down with any player who's uneasy about my coming out."

But a funny thing happened after SI first published his piece online Monday. (And I'm not just referring to the felicitous ...

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