Jason Collins Becomes First Active Athlete in Major US Sport To Come Out of Closet

Jason Collins Gay Sports Illustrated Cover

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Full disclosure: I’ve known the Collins twins since they were 7th graders at my alma mater Montclair Prep in Van Nuys, CA. Even though I disagreed with their decision to attend Stanford (aka Square West University) I’ve always had the utmost respect for both Jason and Jarron and looked up to them and their family…Nothing has changed.

Longtime NBA veteran and former Stanford square Jason Collins decided to make a little history on Monday, becoming the first athlete in a major American sport to come out of the closet, announcing that he was gay via a groundbreaking article in Sports Illustrated.

Collins began his SI column in truly legendary fashion, sharing his secret with deliberate and eloquent intent:

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

And with that Collins became an icon and trendsetter, paving the way for others to break down the barrier in a sports community that has become far more accepting of homosexual athletes in anticipation of someone finally coming out.

In his SI article, Collins reflected on when he first began to realize that he was different, which was evident during his adolescent years:

Jarron and I weren’t allowed to listen to rap until we were 12. After our birthday I dashed to Target and bought DJ Quik’s album Quik Is the Name. I memorized every line. It was around this time that I began noticing subtle differences between Jarron and me.

Coincidentally Quik’s album opening track was the hood classic, “Sweet Black Pussy,” in which the rapper pays homage to the monkey that he always talks about because he loves it.

In response to Collins’ announcement, there has been an outpouring of support from around the world, including NBA superstars, Collins’ former teammates throughout his 12-year career, across the sports landscapes and even from regs and squares alike.

JerseyChaser contributor Marques Johnson, a 5-time NBA All-Star who has known the Collins twins since they were kids, offered this interesting historical perspective on gay players in the NBA

 

Although homosexuality in professional sports is nothing new, now that Collins has broken the barrier it will be interesting to see how society as a whole reacts to the influx of gays and sports, and Collins, along with people Robbie Rogers, can help change the perception.

Collins is currently a free agent, and it will be interesting to see if and when he sings with a team, how the players will react to having an openly gay teammate on their team. Shouldn’t be a big deal, because locker rooms are already some of the gayest places on the planet.

Collins should be more concerned with his critics and detractors, who will utilize social media to continue to spout out homophobic commentary. But once Collins realizes that all these people are fucking losers, if he hasn’t already, then it should be all gravy.

To be honest, I could give a shit about what’s coming in or out of anyone’s private parts, or who its coming in or out with, as long as they are happy and healthy.

Looking forward to the day when Collins, a Stanford graduate, feels comfortable enough to come out as a square as well.


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