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May 2nd, 2013
11:03 PM ET

Ben Shapiro on Jason Collins: "It does not make you a hero to be who you are"

In a week which saw NBA player Jason Collins reveal that he's gay, formally coming out in the issue of Sports Illustrated that's on newsstands now, on Thursday evening "Piers Morgan Live" invited Ben Shapiro to offer his perspective on a story that has generated a great deal of national interest.

Joining Piers Morgan for a face to face interview that came as part of the program's new "The Grill" segment, the author and conservative political pundit took exception to the notion that Collins has achieved hero status:

"Being who you are in 2013 in America is what America is about. It is not heroic to be who you are publicly," said the man who once accused Morgan of dancing "on the graves of dead children." "I'm glad for Jason Collins if he feels that he's going to live a happier life now. But it does not make you a hero to be who you are."

Earlier in the week, as news of Collins homosexuality rippled through locker rooms and board rooms alike, Shapiro took to Twitter to share his stance:

Sitting alongside the host Thursday evening, the editor-at-large for Breitbart.com offered additional examples of people living their lives, denouncing the every day behavior as heroic:

"You're British, and a lot of folks have said you should leave the country, because you're British. You come on here every night, and you speak in a British accent. That doesn't make you a hero, it makes you being who you are. I'm Jewish. I wear a yarmulke on tv," explained Shapiro. "I'm not a hero for wearing a yarmulke."

Watch the clip, and lsiten to the interview as Shapiro comments on the phone call Jason Collins received from President Barack Obama, while Morgan goes on to insist his guest should "come off it."
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Filed under: The Grill
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Mais

    Shapiro wears the yarmulke as a visual shield that he tries to hide behind, in order to make horrible and insensitive statements.

    May 2, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jw

      Pierce thinks that it is 'history making' that an athlete who is still playing comes out, and Obama calls congrats?? Figures!
      Where are the phone calls to the families of the REAL AMERICAN heroes? You know, the ones that gave their lives so that Collins can make millions as he comes out as gay???? Who cares he's gay? But gee, glad to know he used a woman for 8 years. Who knows what he was doing during that time frame. Has he warned her??????????
      It's time for Morgan to go. As a democrat, I'm sick of this ass kissing on his show. Something is not right with him.

      May 3, 2013 at 7:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Mister Peebles

        It was notable because he was the first active male pro athlete to come out. That takes courage.

        Your definition of heroism might differ, but the nation isn't necessarily forgetting other heroes because Collins came out recently.

        That doesn't mean we've forgotten the sacrifices of others.

        May 3, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • max

        or Mrs Clinton saying what does it matter what happen. that four dead Heros are gone where are there calls to there familys,.

        May 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • shepherdgregory

      Dunno where he gets this "WE HATE AMERICA" rubbish from,just sounds rather juvenile and petulant,the play the victim card.Victims?

      How about Sandy?What's he got to say about them?ZIP!

      Twenty Candles.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. haut123

    Shapiro is able to choose his religion. Jason Collins did not choose to be black or gay.

    May 2, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jw

      But he can choose to be celibate.

      May 3, 2013 at 7:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Morrissey

        'The hills are alive with celibate cries...'

        These Things Take Time – The Smiths.

        May 3, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisa

      First off, being Jewish is an ethnicity just as much as it is a religion. If you had just one Jewish grandparent in the 1940s Nazi germany even if you were born christian, you were sent to the concentration camps. Being Jewish is not a choice because it's defined by our persecutors standards. if you are born to a jewish family, even if you try to escape it, people judge. if your last name gives it away- good luck. my mother's house was burned down by anti-semites. the kids in her school use to throw eggs at her house and they'd wake up with swastikas on the door.even if she said "i think im going to convert now!" bigots are bigots. she would always be judged. and why should she have to change her fundamental beliiefs? bottom line- it takes courage for a lot of people to do a lot of things. that's life. but courage isn't necessarily heroism. heroism takes sacrifice for something bigger than oneself. being who you are doesnt make you a hero, even if you have to face adversity to do it.

      March 9, 2014 at 4:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jerry Moslak

    Shapiro says Piers Morgan should be deported for your stance on gun control. Wait a minute! Isn't he along with the Republican party on the puppet strings of RUPERT MURDOCK and ROGER AILES thru the "front" called FOX NEWS, that are the ones who should be deported or brought upon charges of subversive propaganda. Bet he never looked up the lives history of his "puppeteer" Rupert Murdock?

    May 2, 2013 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • shepherdgregory

      Fox:currently demonizing Muslims everywhere.Shouldn't be allowed.

      May 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. brasstacs

    Perhaps Morgan should do what the liberals do on MSNBC and not have any opposing views...Morgan got his a$$'S kicked good by Ferguson last night and tonight by Ben Shapiro.

    May 3, 2013 at 12:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • jw

      That's because Morgan will defend anything. This is how much integrity this phony monkey has:
      "Morgan was sacked as editor of the Mirror on 14 May 2004 over the Mirror publishing faked photographs of alleged Iraqi prisoners being abused by British soldiers." Now all you defenders can hang you head in shame. This guy has no firm beliefs...he is a showman, that is all.....NO substance. Here is a direct quote of his: "There is a certain advantage to the British accent. I do notice that Americans love it; they think the we Brits are smarter than perhaps we are. So I'm relying on that, definitely." Guess it is working on all his 'defenders'. How do you like being DUPED????????

      May 3, 2013 at 7:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • brasstacs

        Exactly right...Morgan has a "tabloid" mentality with a history of corruption and deceit,and nothing he says should be taken seriously,he's in this only for cheap sensationalism,and nothing else...his rating are at the bottom of the heap,and like the Dailey Mirror he should be escorted from the CNN building.

        May 3, 2013 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Mister Peebles

      He hardly got beat. Piers expressed an opinion, Shapiro expressed a counter-opinion, with a ton of strawman arguments and false equivalences thrown in.

      Whether or not Collins is a "hero" is debatable based on your own opinions. Opinion not being a factual matter, Piers did not loose.

      May 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Who Is Ben Shapiro?

      Did he accuse Piers of dancing on the graves of Sandy Hook kids?[USA 19;UK 1 deaths;retrieving from file...].

      Didn't America do that by not passing A SINGLE LAW?

      Does Mrs Shapiro dress him?Just another dumb Yank without the class nor finesse of the British.

      Ask your women(yum)...

      May 3, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Jason B

        And who are you? Just another dumb @$$ brit I suppose, just like Morgan.

        May 6, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Piersness

    Piers Morgan says the tweet was a cheap shot at the basketball player, but the tweet was even directed at Jason Collins at all. It was directed at the people calling him a hero, I'm sure Jason Collins does not think of himself as a hero. Nor should we. So Piers what's the problem.

    May 3, 2013 at 12:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • jw

      The problem is Morgan...

      May 3, 2013 at 7:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Slimy Limey

        Tttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
        ppppppppppppppppppppprrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroooooooooooooooooooooooooooooobbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb
        llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeemmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
        iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssssssssssssssssssssssyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyooooooooo
        oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu jw.

        May 3, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • William

        Yes the problem is Pierce Morgan trying to scare Americas for rating... Piers Morgan’s backfiring on him again.

        God bless the 2nd Amendment...

        May 4, 2013 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Give Us A Kiss

      Gotcha TWICE,Jaso!

      (Heh-heh...)

      May 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Sheriff 6

    When is CNN going to get rid of Piers! He's such an American hater that is absolutely misinformed on America. Please let him leave the Country like he promised. Where's Larry King when we need him!

    May 3, 2013 at 12:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • jw

      For CNN to get rid of Morgan would mean admitting to a HUGE mistake...something they won't do. It's an integrity issue....the lack of it.

      May 3, 2013 at 7:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mister Peebles

      Since when does hating American mean voicing views that many other Americans hold?

      Piers' politics are progressive and liberal, but so are the politics of many other Americans. He's not the one guy out of 300 million in the USA with a TV show that NO one agrees with.

      Please don't make sweeping generalizations that are not true.

      May 3, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sherriff 7

      Correct your spelling,my good chap,UK#1!

      How many Yanks has he got running around at his Imperial beck and call,that's what I wanna know.

      Probably about 100(plenty of them,Drones,far too many).

      Carry on!

      May 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Second Amendment Written For MILITIAS Now Obsolete Whether U Like It Or Not

      Depends if you're in the NRA,I s'pose:zoom in on the word on their homepage in their Third Reich/Masonic 1700s
      parallel universe stylee...

      'Rip it up and start it again...'

      Rip It Up – Orange Juice.

      May 4, 2013 at 7:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Jason B

        Uh huh, and I have a Joe Biden double barrel enema for you

        May 6, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Putinplace

    Wow, Piers got it royally handed to him tonight and not knowing what to do tried to offend Ben by misaccusing him and shaking his hand mid discussion. Piers you really showed your professional ineptness tonight.

    May 3, 2013 at 12:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mister Peebles

      This was a debate on opinions about cultural issues. Shapiro did not "win" and neither did "Piers".

      Shapiro is an opportunist who waits for a chance to say something controversial so he can get air time.

      May 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Jason B

        So basically you're just saying he knows how to play Morgan's own game, and he turned loose on Morgan.

        May 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Give Us ANOTHER Kiss

      'Three times a lay-deeeeeeeeeeeeeee!'

      (Where IS she?And Dana?And Steve in Mo?And Tesla?Just you,me and Captain Morgan,Jaso!)

      We worship Him...we worship Him...Jase never misses a show(ha-ha)...worship...

      May 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. CNNer

    Shapiro is totally right about not calling people heroes for admitting who or what they are. Equal rights for everybody, but lets not blow it out of proportion that President have an urge to call him and congratulate! with what???? what kind of achievement is that? our standards for heroism are really low if that's what it comes down to. Just sad and bordering with ridiculous. And btw, Piers did not have guts to admit that Shapiro's arguments did make sense. All he could articulate was "come off it" (???) what did he even mean by that?

    May 3, 2013 at 12:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mister Peebles

      Shapiro made a point but it was gratuitous. Shapiro took advantage of someone's courageous decision to push his own agenda. There were no facts debated here, it was only a matter of opinion.

      May 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Steve

        Shapiro did no such thing. And while I do find that you are correct in stating that Collins' decision was courageous it is a disservice to call him a hero, it muddies the meaning of a truly heroic and selfless action. Amanda Berry is a hero for what she did which is something that is incomparable to Jason Collins coming out.

        May 8, 2013 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jason Collins true patriot.....

    Piers Morgan does Hate America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shapiro true patriot.....

    May 3, 2013 at 4:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • America's Just A Bit Silly

      No he doesn't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      May 3, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • shepherdgregory

      FAO Steve.

      One of the most bandied around words,isn't it?Society has a need for them,and we're only too quick to nominate the next,it's something the Greeks explored many years ago,and even a story like 'Deid Dugs' by Irvine Welsh['Trainspotting'],dips a toe into that territory–there's another to be declared right about now.(And well done,Amanda Berry.)

      May 8, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. John Chisholm

    Many americans dont like to hear the truth about guns and the right to bear. Piers tells it like it is. America would be greater if they had the mentality of commonwealth countries from which Piers comes from one of them (United Kingdom). Canada would welcome Piers with open arms (no pun intended).

    May 3, 2013 at 4:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Dave

    I love Piers' show and his ability to debate his point of view.

    However he is having his ass scorched in this new "Grill" segment.
    Take care Piers

    May 3, 2013 at 8:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mister Peebles

      Not really scorched. He's fleshing out some outrageous positions that many accept as gospel and challenging them. The "Grill" is a chance to expose hypocrisy, ignorance, and stupidity.

      May 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jason B

      I'll agree on this one point. The Grill has been the only good thing to happen on this show since Larry King left.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Incredulous Of Edinburgh

        Jason,was...was that a COMPLIMENT?

        (That's not allowed,that AIN'T playing fair...I...I wasn't expecting that...where's my Emergency Oatcakes...)

        May 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. David Rilstone

    Canada would NOT welcome Piers. We do not condone trumping false charges against our brave soldiers in harm's way by doctoring photos, nor does the U.K. - as Piers found out.

    May 3, 2013 at 9:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Sue Crosby

    Last night show is the last one I will ever watch....The remarks that Piers abd Mac Lamont- Hill and the these women made about Mitt R. was so distrdpectful.Mitt has more integrity than these four people together and then more...Shame on Piers for alloowing these remarks on his show..Jason Collins has ever right to be gay who care!!!!!But he is no hero..but he does fit in these people thinking..Cnn is just like msnbc and it is to bad....wont be watching it any more

    May 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • shepherdgregory

      Good:maybe you could read a book,and practice your spelling 'cos it's dire.

      May 3, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • sm

        Ges, get off everyone who write a responce. Its way old Shakespere! do you qoute playwights all the time through your day. You dont make any sense! Better refine your English speaking skills...

        May 4, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MattS

    It's very interesting that Shapiro chose to compare Collins to the soldiers at Normandy. All of the men who risked their lives fighting in WWII were heroes, but why do we single out the soldiers at Normandy? It's because they were the first. They broke ground at the beach, they started the invasion and the liberation of Europe. They were the first Americans to put themselves in the line of fire in Europe during the war. Their bravery and sacrifice made it easier for the troops that followed them into Europe.

    I don't think that anyone would seriously say that Jason Collins is as big a hero as a soldier at Normandy. But Jason Collins is considered a hero because he is the first. He isn't risking his life, but he is risking is livelihood. He isn't exposing himself to bullets, but he is exposing himself to the jeering and defamation of people like Shapiro and people far less polite or well-spoken. Because he has done this, it will be easier for the next athlete that comes out, or who is out and wants to join professional sports. They will suffer less jeering, and they will have more opportunities because of him.

    Shapiro is not a hero because he isn't the first. He is, in a sense, brave, but it takes a lot less bravery to do what so many have done before (there have been many avowed Jewish people on television before Shapiro), than it does to be the first to do it.

    May 3, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. max

    this is a joke but its funny
    MSNBC
    M minion of the devil
    S Servants of Satan
    N Nickie-Ben
    B Baal
    C Chemosit

    CNN

    C Chernobog
    N Nyx
    N Nergal

    FOX
    F Fire of God
    O Ophanim
    X xerxes who stood for the Jews

    Who you going to trust!

    May 3, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Who Ya Gonna Call?

      GUN-BUSTERS!

      May 4, 2013 at 7:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • sm

      FOX NEWS is more painfull then watching the Tellie tubbies or the Wiggles! thats what the 2 – 4yr old watch!!

      May 4, 2013 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • William Shakespeare

        Obviously where you get your spelling skills,Single Mother...

        WOOF!

        May 5, 2013 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  16. Deport Piers

    Deporting Pearce back to UK, even if you could, is not very nice. After all UK is already on record saying that they don't want him back and we could keep him. If he is to be deported anywhere, it should be Mexico. Mexico has one of the stricter gun control legislations in the world.

    May 5, 2013 at 2:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • shepherdgregory

      Why spell his name two different ways,you nitwit?And Single Mother,you're the WORST and will get the belt
      [legal in Scotland 'til 1982 as corporal punishment in academe,thick as 'War And Peace',but not as thick as sm
      whom I still love helplessly].

      Don't reject me...

      May 5, 2013 at 8:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jason B

      NO! Not Mexico! We already have enough trouble with too many illegals. We don't need refugees too!

      I say send him to Antarctica, rumor has it they're in need of a TV and radio host.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Jason Is Horrible Once More

        Knew it couldn't last,back to business!

        ANTARCTICA?'COURSE THERE'S NO-ONE THERE!

        Come on,you witless hillbilly–even that madwoman in Bwaston's better than you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        May 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  17. sm was horrible to me...

    *sniff*

    called me a dog last time...*sniff*

    WOOF!

    Doggie Style...

    May 5, 2013 at 8:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  18. I'm More Like Robert Burns Than Shakespeare 'Cos I'M A Poet In Edinburgh!

    And where the most serious things in our schools are wet footprints;Piers getting a hard time from La Pierre/NRA methinks:next week gonna be interesting.

    See ya there.

    Twenty Candles.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
  19. magaleto

    Major-league baseball player Glenn Burke was comfortably out to his teammates and friends in 1976—but back then, it was the press that wasn't ready for a gay male athlete.-Morgan wrong again

    May 6, 2013 at 11:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jason B

      Yeah, that's when the press more or less stood on the correct side of decency.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  20. devin

    I thought it was out of the realm of possibilities that there could be a more obnoxious human being than Joy Behar. When listening to Piers Morgan, that theory is in doubt.

    May 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • shepherdgregory

      Well,I can't understand why you all WATCH him:I boycott people all the time!

      You're a cynical bunch,Blueberries...(not as bad as Nasty Russia though,and I won't give up on you,and we're going to have a Union Jack/Stars And Stripes lovefest where we'll forgive you for nicking our color scheme)

      [TAKE COVER-I NEVER MENTIONED MERLIN ENGINES!HONEST!NOT THE FACE!i'VE GOT AMERICAN WOMEN TO SEDUCE!]

      May 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Private Personal Training

    I don't know how i feel about this. Both sides are right. I just don't think he is a true hero!I think he is a leader and a role model, but no
    hero!The liberal press is making this more then it is.

    January 26, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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