Jason Collins Veteran NBA Player Comes Out
Jason Collins has played for 6 NBA teams in 12 years. He wrote a first person account for Sports Illustrated about his decision to reveal that he is gay.
The 34 year old Collins begins his story: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”
Collins played for the Washington Wizards this season, and is now a free agent. He says he still wants to play. He is the first ‘active’ player in a major professional organization to ‘come out’.
He says his decision to tell his story was the result of the 2011 NBA lockout. He said that before that occurred he was a creature of habit, ending one season, and then preparing for the next. He had time to think about his life, who he really was, and what he wanted to be.
Collins said he realized he had to come out when he watched his former Stanford roommate, Joe Kennedy, now a Massachusetts State Congressman, march in the 2012 Boston “Gay Pride” parade. Collins said he became jealous that he, a ‘closeted’ gay man, couldn’t even cheer on his straight friend at the event.
With the tragedy in Boston on April 15th at the finish of the Boston Marathon, he realized that there was no perfect time, the time was now, to reveal his true self to the world.
When he told Kennedy that he was coming out, his friend told him he was “proud of him”. They will march together in this year’s parade on June 8th.
Collins played in a Final Four for Stanford and reached two NBA Finals.
Columnist-The Guardian Express