NBA player comes out

NBA player comes out

Sports Illustrated Front Cover

Brett Pizzi, Writer

Jason Collins is the first of many active athletes to stand up and say that it is okay to feel comfortable in your own skin. After thirty-four years of keeping a secret, Collins can finally breathe a little easier.
Collins has been an NBA player for eleven years, and has played for several teams, including the New Jersey Nets, the Boston Celtics, and most recently the Washington Wizards. Collins is currently a free agent. Playing over 700 games and scoring over 2500 points, Collins has certainly made his impact for the teams with which he has played, especially the Nets, playing a critical role in their only two finals appearances.
“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,” Jason Collins said.

Jason Collins is the first individual to openly admit to being gay, while still being a participant in professional sports. Collins states the reason for him coming out was due to the 2011 NBA player lockout. Collins discusses how he sat down and thought about whom he was, and without the constant routine of basketball to keep him distracted, he decided to come to terms with who he feels comfortable being.

”I realized I needed to go public when Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford and now a Massachusetts congressman, told me he had just marched in Boston’s 2012 Gay Pride Parade.”

Jason Collins has received a mostly positive response to his coming out. Kobe Bryant tweeted saying “Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don’t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU”. While there has been some hate from other sports players, the vast majority from professional athletes has been positive. Jason Collins has broken a barrier, and the world is listening.