NBA Center Jason Collins Comes Out

The First Openly Gay NBA Player

The First Openly Gay NBA Player

NBA center, Jason Collins has announced that he is coming out. In a story that will appear in the May 6 Sports Illustrated Collins writes that he will be the first openly gay professional male athlete in a major sport.

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.

Collins goes on to explain why he’s 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 also cites the recent attacks in Boston.

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?

Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy was Collins’ roommate at Stamford. Together they will be marching June 8th in Boston’s 2013 Gay Pride Parade.