Jason Collins is first openly gay NBA player

"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay."

4/29/13 in NBA   |   Pat   |   5234 respect

December 25, 2012; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Boston Celtics center Jason Collins (98) celebrates a basket in front of Brooklyn Nets forward Reggie Evans (30) during the third quarter of an NBA game at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsJason Collins has officially become the first openly gay active player in major professional American sports.

Collins, who has played for the Nets, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Hawks, Celtics, and Wizards, announced via Sports Illustrated that he is a homosexual.

He's currently a free agent, and we'll see if this affects his search for a new employer. Many people have speculated in the past that players don't want to publicly admit to being homosexual because teams might think that it would be a distraction, and they wouldn't want that player on their team.

Collins played for Stanford with his twin brother Jarron, who didn't find out that his brother was gay until only a year ago.

Last year, in 6 games with the WIzards, Collins averaged around 1 point and 1 rebound in 9 minutes per game.

Realistically, we might not know how this affects his career. He's a decent backup for teams that need a big man. No more, no less. As you can see, with the amount that he played (and his effectiveness) last year in Washington, he was certainly expendable.

It's possible that Collins could remain unsigned and be semi-forced into retirement, and it could have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he's openly gay.

Collins' story about why he decided to come out right now is fascinating.

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. I'm seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had done filled me with envy. I was proud of him for participating but angry that as a closeted gay man I couldn't even cheer my straight friend on as a spectator. If I'd been questioned, I would have concocted half truths. What a shame to have to lie at a celebration of pride. I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding. I want to take a stand and say, "Me, too."

Now it has happened. We have an openly gay active NBA player. Time will tell how other players react, and how teams treat him, one way or another.

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4/29/13   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

I'm glad he feels more comfortable in his own skin that he can share this with the world.

I have to say, Pat, once again you have written about a sensitive subject in the perfect way.  No fireworks or "OMG" headlines, just straight truths  Thank you.

4/29/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Someday we won't care about this at all, but before then someone had to go first and deal with the insanity. Good for Jason Collins for taking that step and going first, for whatever reason that may be.

4/29/13   |   GFortier   |   520 respect

(Edited by GFortier)

hell yeah, good for him.