And it has happened…
Jason Collins, 34, a center for the Washington Wizards, outed himself in a recent Sports Illustrated interview.
“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center,” Collin wrote in Sports Illustrated story announcing his sexuality. “I’m black. And I’m gay.
Many have speculated when a male pro athlete would reveal themselves, especially once so many athletes were outspoken against the idea.
The Daily News reports:
“I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport,” Collins adds. “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.”
Collins, who spent seven seasons with the Nets, says that he decided to come out of the closet because he was tired of worrying that somebody might suspect he was gay and was no longer willing to live a dishonest life.
“No one wants to live in fear,” Collins wrote in article he authored with Sports Illustrated’s Franz Lidz. “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.”
“The strain of hiding my sexuality became almost unbearable in March, when the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for and against same-sex marriage,” he wrote. “Less then three miles from my apartment, nine jurists argued about my happiness and my future. Here was my chance to be heard, and I couldn’t say a thing. I didn’t want to answer questions and draw attention to myself. Not while I was still playing.”
“I’m a veteran, and I’ve earned the right to be heard,” Collins says. “I’ll lead by example and show that gay players are no different from straight ones. I’m not the loudest person in the room, but I’ll speak up when something isn’t right. And try to make everyone laugh.”
Collins has a very extensive career, though his numbers are not the best.
He played for the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, and is now playing for the Washington Wizards.
Hmmmm…I wonder will Nike contact him about their ‘openly gay athlete’ offer now?
I for one am for him…
Anyone that has this type of platform and choosing to use themselves as an example, has to be commended…
Women have dealt with gays in the locker room for years so men should pony up and deal with it too…
Gay people have the right to be whatever they want…
Their sexuality has nothing to do with their talents and who they are as people…
So for Jason Collins…YOU GO BOY!
Read more here.