Jason Collins

NBA Center Jason Collins: 'I'm Gay'


Jason Collins, a center who played for the Washington Wizards last season and is now a free agent, today became the first openly gay male player in a major pro sport, SI reports:

Jason_collinsI'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay.

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. 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...

...Why am I coming out now? Well, I started thinking about this in 2011 during the NBA player lockout. I'm a creature of routine. When the regular season ends I immediately dedicate myself to getting game ready for the opener of the next campaign in the fall. But the lockout wreaked havoc on my habits and forced me to confront who I really am and what I really want. With the season delayed, I trained and worked out. But I lacked the distraction that basketball had always provided.

Collins adds:

No one wants to live in fear. I've always been scared of saying the wrong thing. I don't sleep well. I never have. But each time I tell another person, I feel stronger and sleep a little more soundly. It takes an enormous amount of energy to guard such a big secret. I've endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie. I was certain that my world would fall apart if anyone knew. And yet when I acknowledged my sexuality I felt whole for the first time. I still had the same sense of humor, I still had the same mannerisms and my friends still had my back.

Much more at the link below...

Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now [sports illustrated]

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  1. good for him

    Posted by: Moz's | Apr 29, 2013 11:21:36 AM

  2. I know the comment section is supposed to be for thought provoking conversation and inspiring dialogue but.... he's sooooo hot.

    Posted by: Mark | Apr 29, 2013 11:22:48 AM

  3. Chelsea Clinton had a wonderful Facebook post acknowledging Jason's courage...unfortunately the post was up for about 10 minutes before it was removed.

    Posted by: jason | Apr 29, 2013 11:27:12 AM

  4. Damn, that has to be the best NBA smile since Magic's.

    Good for him.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Apr 29, 2013 11:27:23 AM

  5. "Welcome to Team Homo" -Debbie Novotny

    Posted by: CD | Apr 29, 2013 11:28:33 AM

  6. Good for him. I can't wait to see the Nike ads.

    Posted by: John | Apr 29, 2013 11:28:54 AM

  7. Serious congrats. Good on you Mr. Collins. Maybe I'll even start following the NBA now...

    Posted by: kudos | Apr 29, 2013 11:28:58 AM

  8. Outstanding! And, is it wrong that I'm surprised that it was an NBA player that took the leap first?

    Posted by: Liam | Apr 29, 2013 11:29:54 AM

  9. He's free agent...meaning he's NOT a current member of any NBA team? So he's yet-another former professional athlete at the end of his career?

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Apr 29, 2013 11:34:33 AM

  10. Jason is paving the road that many others will follow. I look forward to a day when we won't have to talk about being gay. We'll just be allowed to be. Until then, stay strong and play well sir.

    Posted by: Gigi | Apr 29, 2013 11:34:55 AM

  11. Welcome to the Team Jason Collins! This is the extent of my sports knowledge. I am very happy and only hope more follow in his footsteps.

    Posted by: THurts | Apr 29, 2013 11:35:43 AM

  12. Respect for his courage. Bravo!

    Posted by: darkorient | Apr 29, 2013 11:36:31 AM

  13. Brave and humble. And he is a cutie to boot.

    Posted by: Josh | Apr 29, 2013 11:37:35 AM

  14. Good for you Jason. We're all so proud of you. The truth shall indeed set you free.

    Posted by: Howard | Apr 29, 2013 11:45:03 AM

  15. Props. May others soon join his ranks.

    Posted by: Lars | Apr 29, 2013 11:48:01 AM

  16. It's the 21st Century, and in professional sports they are still in the dark ages. When Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in MLB, I recall many of the black stars that followed in his footsteps... and when talking about them, I defined them as black ballplayers. However,as a pure baseball fan when I read the daily box scores... I subliminally thought of black players being black... but soon as I compared them to other players,I realized I was more interested in their stats.

    I hope many more stars come out in sports,and in time we compare them by their stats and not their sexual preference, race or religion. Being gay does not make one a better athlete, politician or hairdresser. It's nice to have something in common with them... but it should not be the only reason to root for them.

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin the bleacher Preacher | Apr 29, 2013 11:49:07 AM

  17. Congrats for helping to blow the closet doors open in pro sports, Jason!

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Apr 29, 2013 11:49:43 AM

  18. Nice article. Gutsy. brace yourself for the fallout, and for the parade of gays to follow ;)

    Posted by: dcinsider | Apr 29, 2013 11:50:13 AM

  19. OMG, yes! Yes yes yes! It's happened. The first officially active player has come out! Jason is such a smart guy, too, and his SI article is incredibly well written. Jason wore #98 in memory of Matthew Shepard. Now that's awesome. He's come out with grace. He's a hero.

    The question now is: Will he find a team. He was traded and then released this season. If he ends up not getting any offers then it won't necessarily deflate what Jason has done but it won't be quite as watershed a moment.

    Regardless, the breakthrough has been made. Jason Collins, known as one of the best defenders in the league! Such an amazing, proud moment.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 29, 2013 11:54:22 AM

  20. "Ted B. (Charging Rhino)", he is currently on an NBA team (Washington Wizards, just recently switched from the Boston Celtics). Free agency doesn't necessarily mean a person's teamless; that's one *kind* of free agency, but not the only kind.

    Posted by: Craig S | Apr 29, 2013 11:55:48 AM

  21. Werk!!!!! And, incidentally, *swooooon*.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 29, 2013 11:57:07 AM

  22. Rock on, Jason! Respect!

    Posted by: noteasilyoffended | Apr 29, 2013 11:59:08 AM

  23. Yes, he's a free agent and a big test will be if he's signed. I bet Mark Cuban signs Jason Collins. If he ends up not being signed then it won't be *as* big a deal.....but still a MAJOR breakthrough. Because Jason is the first. The first has already happened. That takes pressure of the second. And the third, and so on.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 29, 2013 11:59:17 AM

  24. "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay."

    As Bill Maher would say, the part about being black isn't a secret. We already know. :)

    Posted by: Charles | Apr 29, 2013 12:01:14 PM

  25. He's not technically a member of a team, so let's see someone actually playing come out. He should also be completely honest here, if this is to attract novelty sponsorships then he should say so.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 29, 2013 12:07:46 PM

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