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Jason Collins, making waves
What's This Have to Do with Dogs?!
Jason Collins and Shadow

We’ve taken some criticism on Facebook for our post earlier this week on Jason Collins and his dog, Shadow. Some people have taken exception with our use of the word “courageous” in connection with Collins’ announcement that he is gay (a first for an active, professional male athlete). Others, have questioned “what does someone’s sexual preference have to do with dogs?” I wanted to take a moment and express The Bark’s curatorial perspective when posting content to Facebook and to our other social media channels. It has been our goal since we began publishing The Bark 16 years ago, to explore the world of dogs in as varied and expansive a manner as the topic itself. It not only includes the traditional subjects of health, science and the arts, but also how dogs touch nearly every aspect of our lives from social issues to cultural events, and increasingly, their presence in the media. We don’t claim to cover every worthy story on dogs, but we try to mention the ones that interest us, the stories we feel are important. This is why we wrote about Jason Collins. As one reader wrote “thanks for finding the humanity in a dog’s story … and the dog in a human story.” Collins himself expressed his revelation thus: “I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation.”

The Bark is happy to engage in that conversation and others we deem meaningful, and we welcome your comments—both supportive and critical. We think that the diversity of ideas makes for a richer community.

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Cameron Woo is The Bark's co-founder and publisher. thebark.com

Photo credit: Kwaku Alston for Sports Illustrated

CommentsPost a Comment
Please note comments are moderated. After being approved your comment will appear below.
Submitted by Anonymous | May 8 2013 |

You shouldn't have to defend yourself.

Submitted by Marc | May 8 2013 |

Thank you for posting this story. I think it benefits our society, both for humans and for our dogs. One slight critique you may want to consider when writing (hopefully) more stories that surround the GLBT community. The phrase, "sexual preference" is not well-received by people in that community (me being a card-carrying member :). It assumes that people have a choice whether or not to be gay or not, but it actually is quite the opposite. Sexual orientation or sexual identity may be better choices. But, overall, thank you very much for publishing a story like Jason's. It is greatly appreciated.

Submitted by Lynne Findley | May 8 2013 |

This story made me think of the old, but true, saw, "God make me the person my dog thinks I am". True. Brave. Oneself, because everyone else is taken.

Submitted by Karen DeBraal | May 8 2013 |

I commend you!

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