Jason Collins | Martina Navratilova | Melissa Harris-Perry | News | Sports

Martina Navratilova Tells Melissa Harris-Perry Why Jason Collins is So Important: VIDEO


Martina Navratilova appeared on Melissa Harris Perry's show on Sunday to talk about Jason Collins, his coming out, and why it's so important for athletes to continue doing so:

“In this day and age, a third of teenage suicides are due to their sexual orientations,” Navratilova said. “They’re so terrified of coming out as gay that they take their own life.”

Navratilova mentioned that she came out as AIDS was coming to light, and noted President Reagan’s failure to adequately acknowledge the problem was a part of the culture at the time.

“Being gay was the lowest of the low that you could get, and that’s why people stayed in the closet, because you could get so shamed, you were so ashamed of who you were—not because of who you thought you were, but because of what everybody else thought—that people just didn’t speak up.”


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  1. Martina Navratilova is the most phenomenal woman since Eleanor Roosevelt.

    Posted by: Esther Blodgett | May 7, 2013 11:44:43 AM

  2. Martina looks great. A wonderful woman and role model for all LGBT-kids.

    Posted by: ADGA | May 7, 2013 11:50:54 AM

  3. Hard to fathom the notion that we could ever have been consisdered 'the lowest of the low' when you consider the luminaries in history who are known to have been homosexual. And, for that matter, those luminaries of our own lifetime.

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | May 7, 2013 11:55:23 AM

  4. HUGE tennis fan here who followed Martina from the beginning of her career to the end, sadly. Your rock Martina!!!

    Posted by: Tom | May 7, 2013 12:11:31 PM

  5. love her hair and loved her when she slayed the l word! wish there had been a outspoken gay celeb who would have done the same for that other *trailblazing* showtime crap, queer as f$&k, which had appalling racist elements.

    Posted by: iban4yesu | May 7, 2013 12:47:43 PM

  6. Leroy Laflamme: Yes, but the luminaries on history who happened to be gay, generally had to be very low key about it (with the exception of ancient greece).

    Martina was absolutely hated as tennis player for a good part of her career. People didn't like she was from a comunist country, they didn't like she didn't behave like a lady on court, and they didn't like she was a thread to Chris Evert who was the golden girl back then (always pretty and polite).
    When she came out things didn't get better, but as she said, everything depended on her, and she was the fittest female player back in the 80's and she was determined to be the best.

    All the respect and love tennis fans had for her at the end of her career, she earned

    Posted by: jjose712 | May 7, 2013 2:07:38 PM

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