Jason Collins Hub




WATCH: Trailer For Malcolm Ingram’s New LGBT Sports Documentary ‘Out To Win’

Out to win

The teaser trailer for acclaimed film Director Malcolm Ingram’s new LGBT documentary Out to Win, which provides insight into the lives of LGBT athletes, is now available on the web reports Out. The documentary examines the lives and careers of professional and aspiring LGBT athletes from around the world including interviews with Martina Navratilova, Charline Labonté, Conner Mertens, Billie Jean King, Jason Collins, Wade Davis, David Kopay, John Amaechi and Brittney Griner.

Ingram is known for several LGBT documentaries he directed including Continental and Small Town Gay Bar, which was a huge hit with critics at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006.

Out in Film debuts at SXSW in Austin, Texas next month. Watch the trailer, which features brief but enlightening clips from interviews with various LGBT athletes, AFTER THE JUMP

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Jason Collins Has Been Mentoring Other LGBT Athletes Who Have Yet To Come Out Of The Closet: VIDEO

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Jason Collins has been busy since becoming the NBA’s first openly gay player and subsequently retiring from the league. Since leaving the sport, Collins explained in an interview with The New York Daily News he’s spent his time mentoring other young, queer basketball players who have yet to come out of the closet.

“I’m in contact with other athletes, collegiate and professionally who are members of the LGBT community who maybe aren't ready to come out publicly but they have in their private lives,” Collins explained. “At this point it’s up to each individual person who has their life to live.”

He continued:

“I would hope that one day they do come out, especially while they’re active because you can see from my example, you can see from Robbie Rogers in soccer, you can have the best of both worlds.

I know there are more members of the LGBT community who haven’t yet stepped forward and (I’m) encouraging them that when they do that the world is ready to accept them and support them. As far as the NBA goes- the NBA is an incredible league. Basketball is a sport of inclusion and diversity and I hope they’re able to know how good it will be to be able to live their lives that they want off the court and also be able to have their job on the court.”

Watch Jason Collins speak with Chris Hayes about his newfound role as a mentor to young, closeted athletes AFTER THE JUMP...

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Powerful MLK Video from the NBA Features 'Barrier Breaker' Jason Collins: WATCH

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The NBA is celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a video called "Barrier Breakers" showcasing many of the league's firsts including the first out gay player Jason Collins.

Writes the league:

The NBA has a strong history of firsts when it comes to breaking down racial barriers and proverbial glass ceilings. In this spot, we explore the strides made within the NBA that not only embody Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but the overall guiding principles of the Civil Rights movement.

Watch the powerful clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via jmg)

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Jason Collins, First Openly Gay Player in The NBA, Retires

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After 13 seasons in the NBA, Jason Collins, the first player to ever come out as gay while still a playing professional, has announced he is retiring from basketball. The trailblazer made his announcement in a special column on SI.com:

It has been 18 exhilarating months since I came out in Sports Illustrated as the first openly gay man in one of the four major professional team sports. And it has been nine months since I signed with the Nets and became the first openly gay male athlete to appear in a game in one of those leagues. It feels wonderful to have been part of these milestones for sports and for gay rights, and to have been embraced by the public, the coaches, the players, the league and history.

On Wednesday at the Barclays Center, I plan to announce my retirement as an NBA player.

[...]

There are still no publicly gay players in the NFL, NHL or major league baseball. Believe me: They exist. Every pro sport has them. I know some of them personally. When we get to the point where a gay pro athlete is no longer forced to live in fear that he’ll be shunned by teammates or outed by tabloids, when we get to the point where he plays while his significant other waits in the family room, when we get to the point where he’s not compelled to hide his true self and is able to live an authentic life, then coming out won’t be such a big deal. But we’re not there yet.

What exactly lies ahead for Collins is unclear though many suggest he will have a strong role as an advocate for the LGBT community in the world of professional sports. In May Collins commented, 

My goal right now is to empower others. And also support those who (are) like Derrick Gordon, Michael Sam, Robbie Rogers, and over the next months, couple of years, whoever else joins that list of out/active players.


Gay MLS Player Robbie Rogers Gets Contract Extension, Prepares To Release Autobiography

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Robbie Rogers is living proof that an openly gay man can not only play a major American professional sport — but excel at one, too.

While the NFL's Michael Sam and the NBA's Jason Colllins are searching for teams, Rogers is enjoying a resurgent season with the MLS' LA Galaxy, and now he has a multi-year contract extension to show for it, the team announced Thursday.

But it hasn't been easy. After Rogers came out in 2013, then retired, then un-retired and joined the Galaxy, he became the first openly gay man to play in one of the five major North American professional sports.

Rogers.Robbie1However, one aspect of the story that was largely overlooked in the gay media is that Rogers, a one-time member of the US National Team, didn't play particularly well initially. The layoff left him out of shape, he was plagued by injuries and, he revealed recently, he was still dealing with the enormity of being out.

"It was really tough," Rogers told The LA Times last month. "People think when you come out, it's perfect now and everyone loves you. [But] now you're dealing with all those years of being closeted. And it didn't matter how supportive people were. It was me wrapping my head around that, like, 'No, I'm just another guy on the team'."

After what The LA Times called a "disastrous" performance in last year's playoffs, Rogers spent a lot of time on the bench at the beginning of this season. But his big break came in June when Galaxy Coach Bruce Arenas moved Rogers from midfield to defense, where he became a starter. Since then, the Galaxy has posted a 10-2-7 record and they are preparing to take on the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference Finals.

"We are excited that Robbie will remain a part of our organization going forward," Arenas said Thursday. "He has proven to be a dynamic player in our League and an integral part of our success this year. We look forward to his continued contributions in the years to come."

Rogers said the following on Twitter:

In addition to celebrating his contract extension, Rogers is set to release an autobiography, "Coming Out to Play," on Nov. 25. and he will soon be the subject of an ABC sitcom, "Men In Shorts."

How's that for an example of just how good things can be the other side of the closet door — at least once you get over the initial shock?


Check Out The Beautiful Story of Max Lenox, the Army Basketball Captain Raised By Two Gay Dads: VIDEO

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This week's Sports Illustrated has the moving and remarkable story of the captain of Army's basketball team and the two gay dads who raised him. Maxwell Lenox, 22, is a senior at West Point and though he's not the star player for the Black Knights, he's been voted captain two years running due to his exceptional leadership abilities and the way he inspires his teammates. “I’ll be lucky if I do half the stuff Max does, become half the leader he is,” says sophomore forward Tanner Omlid. “I want to be like him.”

Sports Illustrated, which made big news last year with Jason Collins' coming out cover, has posted this amazing story on their website, written by S.L. Price with candor, emotion, and a remarkable sense of how much the world has changed since Lenox's adoption. Lenox was born to a crack-addicted mother in Philadelphia in 1992, at the height of the urban drug epidemic. Just three days later, he was adopted by a couple from North Carolina who were eager to start a family: Dave Lenox and Nathan Merrell. Though they had reservations about the unknown challenges of raising a "crack-baby," the bigger problems turned out to be with Merrell's conservative family who was not too thrilled to find out all at once that he was gay, had a partner, and that they were grandparents to a black infant.

Lenox_merrellsIn the touching video which accompanies the story, Merrell struggles to relate how his father denied that Max was his grandchild while his mother, for the first time in her 36-year marriage, actually defied her husband. The whole story is filled with emotional moments like this as the couple faced many struggles raising Max, including Max's difficulties in school and a serious injury that derailed a potential pro career. Now, given how Max has become such a leader, the two dads are thrilled how things have turned out as there's talk their son might make general someday. A truly inspiring story.

Check out a video on Lenox and his dads, AFTER THE JUMP....

And for the full story on Max's incredible journey, head over to Sports Illustrated here

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