“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.” With these three short sentences in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated, Jason Collins, with the help of writer Franz Lidz, told the sports world two things it already knew, and one that it didn’t, and in doing so has made history, becoming the first active male player in any of the big four of American sports leagues—baseball, hockey, basketball, and football—to come out as gay.
You may not have heard of Jason Collins before today. Even dedicated basketball fans might have confused him with his twin brother, Jarron, who is about an inch shorter, and who played with Jason at Stanford and also had a long career in the pros. Jason played for the Boston Celtics this year, before being traded to the Washington Wizards. He is a free agent this summer, and is nearing the end of his years in the league, but he says he hopes to get picked up by another team next season. If he does, he may be the only openly gay player, but as he notes at the end of the piece, he will surely not be the only gay player: “Pro basketball is a family. And pretty much every family I know has a brother, sister or cousin who’s gay. In the brotherhood of the NBA, I just happen to be the one who’s out.”
Now I had to print this story because I know there’s going to be allot of press about this in the news. How do you feel about Jason coming out. The last huge issue in the NBA was Magic Johnson announcing he had the HIV virus then his son coming out the closet and now this, Oh Boy!
- NBA veteran Jason Collins comes out as gay (king5.com)
- Former Celtics Center Jason Collins Comes Out As First Openly Gay Male Athlete In American Pro Sports (boston.cbslocal.com)
- NBA Player Jason Collins Comes Out as Gay Man (justjared.com)