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Published On: Mon, Apr 29th, 2013

NBA free agent Jason Collins comes out as gay, Gay Rights group compares him to Jackie Robinson

Jason Collins, who played with the NBA’s Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards this season, has disclosed that he is gay. This makes him the first active openly gay male athlete in the four major American pro team sports, despite currently being a free agent.

screenshot game coverage

screenshot game coverage

“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.”

“Jason Collins has forever changed the face of sports,” said the Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights group fighting for gay rights and compared the player to Jackie Robinson.

“At a time when millions are reflecting on the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson, Jason Collins is a hero for our own times,” the group said.

Collins addresses why, and more importantly, why now.

“Why am I coming out now? Well, I started thinking about this in 2011 during the NBA player lockout. I’m a creature of routine. When the regular season ends I immediately dedicate myself to getting game ready for the opener of the next campaign in the fall. But the lockout wreaked havoc on my habits and forced me to confront who I really am and what I really want. With the season delayed, I trained and worked out. But I lacked the distraction that basketball had always provided.”

He revealed how his Aunt responded to the news.

“The first relative I came out to was my aunt Teri, a superior court judge in San Francisco. Her reaction surprised me. “I’ve known you were gay for years,” she said. From that moment on I was comfortable in my own skin. In her presence I ignored my censor button for the first time. She gave me support. The relief I felt was a sweet release. Imagine you’re in the oven, baking. Some of us know and accept our sexuality right away and some need more time to cook. I should know — I baked for 33 years.”

“The recent Boston Marathon bombing reinforced the notion that I shouldn’t wait for the circumstances of my coming out to be perfect. Things can change in an instant, so why not live truthfully? When I told Joe a few weeks ago that I was gay, he was grateful that I trusted him. He asked me to join him in 2013. We’ll be marching on June 8.”

Check out Collins interview in SI here

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. Chris Broussard attacked and ESPN apologizes for ‘that type of lifestyle’ comments, discussing Jason Collins - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] made headlines Monday, becoming the first openly gay professional athlete in the NBA by penning a first-person feature for Sports […]

  2. Homosexuality dominates headlines, but NY school ‘lesbian kiss’ lesson still not covered as ‘pansexual’ and ‘genderqueer’ taught - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] NBA free agent Jason Collins comes out as gay, Gay Rights group compares him to Jackie Robinson […]

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