“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”
In a piece written for Sports Illustrated by the man himself, Jason Collins, a free-agent center who played for the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards this past season, has become the first active NBA player to openly reveal his sexuality as a gay man.
“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,” Collins wrote. “I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, “I’m different.” If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.” (SI.com)
You can read the piece in its entirety by clicking here.
Collins played 32 games for the Boston Celtics this past season. He was dealt before the trade deadline along with Leandro Barbosa to the Washington Wizards in a move to acquire Jordan Crawford.
Over his 14-year NBA career, Jason has also suited up for the Atlanta Hawks, New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves. He has career averages of 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds.
Since his reveal, the outpouring of love and support from the world of social media has been tremendous. There have been ignorant and naive comments here and there, but for the most part, fans, fellow athletes and members of the media have handled this news with the respect and care that it deserves.
This is a landmark moment in professional sports, and it should be treated as such.
It took a great deal of courage for Jason Collins to come out to the world.
Jason Collins is a hero.
Twitter Shows Support
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) April 29, 2013
— Baron Davis (@Baron_Davis) April 29, 2013
The cheapest reaction to Jason Collins’ announcement is to act blasé and say its not a big deal. It’s an enormously big deal. Good for him.
— Jason Gay (@jasonWSJ) April 29, 2013
Happy for @jasoncollins34 – a thoughtful guy + beloved teammate, and now, a role model for so many struggling to come out. Good luck to him.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) April 29, 2013
David Stern, in statement on Jason Collins, says,”We are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue.”
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) April 29, 2013
If you don’t understand that Jason Collins is a hero, stop embarrassing yourself.
— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) April 29, 2013
Extremely impressed w/Jason Collins coming out, and doing it so eloquently. He has played on 6 NBA teams and (cont) tl.gd/n_1rk1ete
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) April 29, 2013
Jason Collins has always been a true professional. Always seek him out on his teams for perspective. Good for him. Hope he is at peace.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 29, 2013
This week’s SI Cover – Jason Collins comes out of the closet: twitter.com/si_vault/statu…
— Andy Gray (@si_vault) April 29, 2013
Cheers to L.A. kid Jason Collins…blaze that trail, dude is.gd/3EuaAw
— Bill Plaschke (@BillPlaschke) April 29, 2013
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) April 29, 2013
Perhaps best sums up Jason Collins’ character: If I’m up against an intolerant player, I’ll set a pretty hard pick on him. And then move on.
— Scott Souza (@scott_souza) April 29, 2013
Beyond being proud of Jason Collins, I’m also happy to see the support he is receiving from so many across the NBA & other walks of life.
— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) April 29, 2013
Hugs to @jasoncollins34! It’s a real ⚽“Touchdown 4 Tolerance!”⚽
— rob delaney (@robdelaney) April 29, 2013
Immense kudos to Jason Collins. May the NBA lead the charge in terms of pros coming out. Proud to love that league: sportsillustrated.cnn.com/magazine/news/…
— Juan José Vallejo (@juanjo_sports) April 29, 2013
Jason Collins…. From this day forward you will always been known as an inspiration to millions in this country…. fb.me/239HzgHrW
— Albert Rivera (@bronxsax) April 29, 2013
— Alison Jacobson (@safetymom) April 29, 2013
Congrats to Jason Collins on his courageous step in changing the history of sports today. The time is now!
— Alan Gendreau (@AGendreau38) April 29, 2013
— Lisa H. (@EdiblyOrganic) April 29, 2013
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