NBA player Jason Collins first active athlete to announce he is gay

Jason Collins

NBA’s Jason Collins becomes first openly gay active player

Jason Collins “came out the closet” in an interview with Sports Illustrated, making him the first ever player to reveal he is gay while still actively playing a major sport.

He is a 13 year veteran center of the NBA, whose twin brother, Jarron Collins, currently a scout for the Los Angeles Clippers, also played in the NBA.

In support of his big brother, Jarron tweeted…

Jason said, when he shared his truth with his brother less than a year ago, Jarron was “downright astounded,” but that he quickly stood in support of him.

He reveals that the first person he came out to, was his aunt, a San Francisco superior court judge, but to his surprise, she already knew and said she’d known for years.

Jason is currently a free agent (having last played for the Washington Wizards), and I don’t believe this revelation will have any bearing on him landing with a new team next season. As a matter of fact, he is likely to have more opportunities on and off the court than he could have ever imagined.

Former Stanford University classmate, Chelsea Clinton, tweeted…

He has also received support from many members of his NBA/WNBA family, including Kobe Bryant, Baron Davis, Tina Penicheiro, Nancy Lieberman, Tony Parker, Magic Johnson, Greg Anthony, and Jason Kidd.

NFL PLayers Association president, Dominique Foxworth, also lent his support…

One important message Jason shared is this…

I shouldn’t have to live under the threat of being outed. The announcement should be mine to make, not TMZ’s.

You will remember that Magic Johnson’s son, EJ, and NFL player Kerry Rhodes, both had the subject of their sexuality broadcast to the world by the media, with Rhodes’ story, in particular, causing a firestorm of messiness and shame.

It is important that a person have ownership of their truth, regardless of what it is, in their own time, and at their own level of comfort.

Of course, not everyone will be accepting of an openly gay athlete, and Jason will face some levels of hatred and harsh scrutiny, but never to worry, as he seems to be fully prepared and can expect full support from the LGBTQ community.

His bravery, eloquence, and willingness to be a voice for many will make him the beneficiary of a multitude of thanks from around the world.

I encourage you to read the ENTIRE article, which appears in the May 6, 2013 edition of S.I.

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