Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm

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

I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. 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.

My journey of self-discovery and self-acknowledgement began in my hometown of Los Angeles and has taken me through two state high school championships, the NCAA Final Four and the Elite Eight, and nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons.

I’ve played for six pro teams and have appeared in two NBA Finals. Ever heard of a parlor game called Three Degrees of Jason Collins? If you’re in the league, and I haven’t been your teammate, I surely have been one of your teammates’ teammates. Or one of your teammates’ teammates’ teammates.

Now I’m a free agent, literally and figuratively. I’ve reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.

Full story.

10 Responses to “Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now”

  1. MT Geoff on 29/29/13 at 2:35 pm

    People who are attracted to their own sex — homosexuals — have been harried, executed, tortured and imprisoned through a lot of recorded history. Then somehow they get the idea that they are oppressed and scorned. Imagine that!
    I’ve seen comments on many web sites saying that there’s a secret homosexual agenda to get acceptance rather than merely tolerance. The agenda is clear, not secret. Of course it is; if you were Muslim, you’d want to be accepted rather than tolerated. If you’re a Jew, you want to be accepted. As a white male geek with a job, I’d like to be accepted, not merely tolerated, by “progressives”.
    It’s a lot easier for people with a scorned trait to build acceptance if people like them turn out to be admirable, skilled, compassionate, and otherwise pretty much like the rest of the world.
    If homosexual conduct actually caused harm, I’d be among those who thought mainstreaming it — making it acceptable — was a bad idea, even if it should stay out of government business. That’s how I feel about abortion and adultery and even drug abuse.
    Since homosexuality seems harmless to me, I’m accepting of it. Some people will be more accepting because a well-known achiever, a popular athlete, happens to be homosexual. It’s a bit silly but those who feel oppressed, and have reason to feel oppressed, will welcome help where it comes.

  2. Moonstone716 on 29/29/13 at 3:03 pm

    No homosexual alive today has been executed, tortured or imprisoned.

    You can’t force people to accept you by calling them names if they don’t.

    And this guy is a retirement-age free agent who is afraid no one will pick him up and is positioning to be able to sue for being discriminated against for being gay.

    Very few people have real problems with gay people….it is the gay activists to whom I will never give in.

  3. Sua Sponte on 29/29/13 at 3:44 pm

    Wow!…At first I didn’t even know who Jason Collins was nor did I care, thankfully now I know who he is and still don’t care. Not an NBA fan, but, looking up his stats it appears he wouldn’t be remembered outside of these theatrics.

  4. it's those darn kids. on 29/29/13 at 10:17 pm

    I am truly, wholly enriched to know this professional nobody has a sexual preference. hoo-rah.

    Also: thanks for the years of guilt free sexual harassment ogling teammates in the shower without knowing your “orientation”. You know, because the gays are totally above staring.
    He’s black? Thanks for the insult to intelligence, asshole.

  5. it's those darn kids. on 29/29/13 at 11:29 pm

    “Personally, I don’t like to dwell in someone else’s private life..”but let me drag you into my private life.

    Both the inanity and vanity on full display in that short statement.


  6. MT Geoff on 30/30/13 at 12:10 pm

    Howdy Moonstone
    I beg to differ that no living homosexual has been imprisoned. In the US, it was common to send homosexuals, almost always men, to prison for “unnatural acts” until I was in my early 20s. The practice continued in the armed forces — no, I’m not making this up — until 2011. Granted that it was rare after about 1990, it still happened.
    In some other countries, homosexuals — again, almost always the men — are still sent to prison or executed. I doubt that a homosexual man in an Iranian prison gets very good treatment, either.
    I’d be happy if all celebrity sex lives were kept private. At the same time, I think that Mr. Collins should be able to go to a restaurant with the person he loves, man or woman, and kiss that person openly without drawing nasty looks or comments.

  7. It's those damn kids! on 30/30/13 at 2:56 pm

    Yes. We should all be able to do whatever we want, whenever, without anyone judging ever, ever, evar!

    Unless, of course, you dont agree with the PC Police. Then, it is “off with their heads!”

  8. MT Geoff on 30/30/13 at 4:25 pm

    Howdy, It’s those kids
    How in the world does Mr. Collins’ private, consensual activity do you any harm? And absent him doing you any harm — being disturbed or disgusted doesn’t count — why do you want to stop him, or even stop him from acknowledging it in public?
    At the same time, why should any religious group be required to accept his choices or change their doctrine for him? The beliefs of the Catholic Church do Mr. Collins no harm and deny him nothing to which he has any valid claim.
    Live and let live as far as possible.

  9. It's those damn kids! on 30/30/13 at 10:26 pm

    The world doesn’ t give a rip. if individuals want goverment and the morality police out of their bedroom, the keep it in the bedroom.

    See how simple that is?

    It obvious people make cognitive choices, denying his smarmy opening and continuing, inane statements used to set a tone of self righteous absolution and profane innocence His hypocrisy is so profound.

    He doesn’t want to be the sacrificial lamb; he just is..*barf*

  10. Chris W. on 1/01/13 at 12:14 pm

    He doesn’t have a contract right now. If no team signs him, the NBA is therefore homophobic. Winning strategy for him.

    Never mind that he is a suckass benchwarmer who’s played for 6 teams in 11 years, and is 34 years old. And averages one point per game. That couldn’t possibly be the reason no teams want the guy.