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. He's Out "anon" , and you're not. He wins. You lose. :)

    May his openness inspire others in all walks of life and professions to Stop Hiding.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 29, 2013 12:11:47 PM

  2. This is huge! WOW

    Posted by: Rally4Love | Apr 29, 2013 12:12:53 PM

  3. So proud right now!

    We need to support him though LGBT...Get on social media and support him! PLEASE!

    His in for relentless bashing. Please rally around him. It's what our community does best.

    Posted by: Scott Johansen | Apr 29, 2013 12:13:57 PM

  4. Congratulations to him. I hope the endorsements that have been in the news for the first openly gay pro-athlete really come through.

    Posted by: BSmart2 | Apr 29, 2013 12:14:11 PM

  5. Guys, be prepared for your talking points to heteros who argue "why do I have to know you're gay? keep it in your bedroom"

    We have to have our talking points ready in illustrating to said ignorant heterosexuals about the significance coming out plays in not only changing lives, and enhancing freedoms, but role modeling for future generations and enabling an individual to truly be liberated. And that being gay is more than a sex act...it's about companionship, a fight for equality, a rich history, and love.

    Posted by: Bama man | Apr 29, 2013 12:16:07 PM

  6. Read his original article--it's beautifully written. Let's all hope Jason finds a team to play for next season. Paging Mark Cuban...

    Posted by: SC David | Apr 29, 2013 12:16:26 PM

  7. He sounds so smart and wise, and has a compassionate look about him. I'm ALREADY proud to have him in our community.

    I agree with other commentators that he's stepping in a very homophobic climate, especially in the coming day or two. It's vital we show our support. Every single one of us, get on social media, on his twitter or facebook page if he has one and state your gratitude!

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Apr 29, 2013 12:20:14 PM

  8. Does he have a twitter or facebook page? anyone willing to post the link?

    Also need to get on the sports illustrated page and comment positively about him. We need to counter the ignorance that will surely be spewed toward his bravery and courage.

    Posted by: Kevin S. | Apr 29, 2013 12:21:16 PM

  9. All the best for him. He is very handsome with beautiful eyes and smile.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Apr 29, 2013 12:21:24 PM

  10. I agree. This is one story we should all be commenting on in other (straight) sites and blogs, including sports sites. I expect he'll be met with a lot of "keep that crap hidden in your bedroom" and it's important he and his camp see that there are those of us who are deeply touched, and impacted by this move, and that he's literally helping save lives because of it. We need to get our voices out there in mainstream, and not just hidden in our isolated comments section of this blog. Just something to think about....

    Posted by: Alejandro | Apr 29, 2013 12:23:50 PM

  11. who cares if your a gay s long you act as normal person.how i wish to have bf like your skin i dont know what wrong with me but am attract with black man.. :)

    Posted by: marissa | Apr 29, 2013 12:29:02 PM

  12. Awesome! The first openly gay male athlete in a major sports--a real milestone!

    Posted by: MuscleModelBlog.com | Apr 29, 2013 12:33:01 PM

  13. 'Three degrees of Jason Collins' - great quote.

    I have nothing but respect for this guy. He's doing a very brave thing and he pulled it off in the most positive and humble way.

    I am thrilled that the first active pro athlete was someone that was on no one's radar screen, no scandal, etc. He seems like an all-around great guy. The icing on the cake is that he is attractive and articulate.

    Mr Collins - Welcome to the light! Thank you for taking this chance for yourself and for us.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Apr 29, 2013 12:37:26 PM

  14. Yes, yes, a thousand times YES!

    Posted by: DeeVee | Apr 29, 2013 1:12:41 PM

  15. I've always admired players like Jason Collins, who might not have had the most natural ability, but who managed to have long careers in the league because they dedicated themselves to the game, dedicated themselves to staying in condition, and always managed to find a way to contribute to their teams. That's why year after year, teams manage to find a place for guys like this.

    And specifically, I admired Collins when he was with the Nets for being exactly how he described himself--a big, pick-setting wide body with six hard fouls to give, who contributed to wins off the stat sheet.

    I also remember at that time that there were always rumors about there being a gay player on the Nets, and people always whispering about Richard Jefferson. He was a little bit higher profile than Collins, and maybe regarded as a better player, so it would've made a bigger splash, I suppose. I think there are probably at least a couple more guys in the NBA who will eventually come out. Jason Collins just made it a lot easier for them, as John Amaechi did for him.

    Jason Collins is a really good role model though, for making a long career in the NBA by being a regular guy who was a team player and a valuable contributor, and who was never a distraction in any way. There are a lot of high-profile straight so-called 'superstars' who can't say the same.

    Posted by: Big Pick | Apr 29, 2013 1:19:55 PM

  16. First of all, congratulations to Jason and a big thank you for having the courage to take this step. Although he is not a household name, he has had a viable and long NBA career that cannot be dismissed.

    He has an opportunity to become the kind of masculine role model for gay teens and youth, especially black gay teens and youth, that has been so sorely lacking for so long, with disastrous results.

    On the down side, he is not currently on an NBA roster and he is in the twilight of his career, so the cynic in me might conclude that he is doing this partly in hopes that the publicity that results will help extend that career beyond the point at which it probably would have ended. And there is the danger that if no team does sign him, it will be widely assumed that it was because he came out even if it was purely for basketball reasons.

    So, for these reasons, he was not the IDEAL player to be the first to come out, but life is rarely ideal and at least he has opened the door for others--perhaps those who are in fact superstars and at the height of their careers--to follow in his footstepts.

    Anyway, hats off to him.

    Posted by: Rick | Apr 29, 2013 1:23:27 PM

  17. SO MANY reasons to be a proud gay men this year.

    We're winning in public opinion. We're winning in court battles. We're winning with these coming out stories. We're winning!


    Posted by: Leo | Apr 29, 2013 1:23:46 PM

  18. Come out of the closet, to those trapped in it. The life that awaits you after you come out is more liberating for your soul, regardless of how others treat you. It's how you feel about yourself, and coming out enhances that self acceptance. More over, read testimonies of people who have come out. You'll be pleasantly thrilled of the positive experience of many

    Posted by: T.J | Apr 29, 2013 1:25:15 PM

  19. I can hear the increasingly faint exclamations of the bigots: "Oh, no! It's the homosexual agenda! They're corrupting our sports figures; and our children, who look up to them as role models, are condemned to lives of confusion and error!" So much for the fantasy the haters promulgate.

    In actual fact, they can't stand to see their tissue of lies shredded before their eyes.

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | Apr 29, 2013 1:25:59 PM

  20. I never thought an NBA player would take the lead. Mr. Collins was very brave to come forward. All the best to him in his new journey.

    Posted by: Jay | Apr 29, 2013 1:37:26 PM

  21. "The life that awaits you after you come out is more liberating for your soul, regardless of how others treat you."

    Not if those "others" have the power to destroy your career.....and proceed to do so.

    "It's how you feel about yourself, and coming out enhances that self acceptance"

    No, it is usually about the risks one subjects oneself to do so if one comes out, not about self-acceptance.

    "More over, read testimonies of people who have come out. You'll be pleasantly thrilled of the positive experience of many"

    Rupert Everett and Richard Chamberlain would beg to differ.

    All I am saying is that one size does not fit all when it comes to coming out, and most of those who have have done a careful personal cost-benefit analysis and decided that the benefits outweigh the costs.

    I suspect that Jason decided the postive publicity he would receive might allow him to play for another few years, when, had he not come out, his career would have been over. Not to be OVERLY cynical--I am sure that was only one consideration--but still, this idea that coming out always has only positive consequences is simply not true.

    Posted by: Rick | Apr 29, 2013 1:39:18 PM

  22. Rick, actually he is currently on a roster; he's playing for the Washington Wizards.

    If and when he does get traded or cut again, you're right that we may indeed see a big hoopla about whether his coming out was the *reason* for his dismissal or not, but as of right now he is still an active player who is still on a team.

    Posted by: Craig S | Apr 29, 2013 1:43:11 PM

  23. Hold on everyone. Rick may seem reasonable now, but soon he will go into his whole "anti-femme, anti-woman" rant that he always posts on threads. Ignore the troll.

    Posted by: MateoM | Apr 29, 2013 1:43:37 PM

  24. This is wonderful and enables visibility for our community, and the more visibility we have, the more rights we gain. They work together as straight people see "wow, this gay person I've always liked isn't so bad after all!" or "this person I've always liked is gay? guess they are okay"

    Posted by: Playa505 | Apr 29, 2013 2:05:25 PM

  25. My very conservative catholic latino family didn't care I was gay, they still didn't support our rights.......not until Ricky Martin came out (no joke) Ricky Martin sharing his story, showcasing being a dad, talking about being gay and his struggles is the reason why my family is now supportive of gay people. And they'll straight up tell you that too.

    Never underestimate the power of celebrity and the impact they have on the general public.

    Posted by: Alex | Apr 29, 2013 2:07:11 PM

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