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Jason Collins comes out of the closet

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) April 29, 2013 Celtics News, Jason Collins 41 Comments on Jason Collins comes out of the closet

Former Celtics center Jason Collins came out of the closet in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, proclaiming

“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black and I’m gay”

It’s a watershed moment in sports, marking the first time an active professional athlete in any of the four major professional sports has announced his homosexuality.  In the piece, he says

“I realized I needed to go public when Massachusetts congressman Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford, told me he had just marched in Boston’s 2012 Gay Pride Parade.  I’m seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had done filled me with envy,” Collins explains. “I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding. I want to take a stand and say, “me, too.”

I’m proud of anyone who takes a tough stand like this, but I’m especially happy that an active professional athlete has decided to lead a charge like this.  It’s my personal opinion that whomever Jason Collins chooses to love off the court has no bearing on his ability to do his job.

So none of this really matters, except that it does.  At least it does right now.  And this is a necessary step to get us closer to making it not matter. The next step is more players from more sports being inspired enough by Collins to say “you know what… I’m not hiding anymore either.”

Only then can those who will undoubtedly flinch in the face of the news come to understand that it’s ultimately meaningless.  Eventually, maybe even a star player will have the guts to do the same.

Until then, I applaud Jason Collins, and the NBA, who made the following statement in response to the Collins news:

“As Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family. Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue.”

The NBA has been at the forefront of this issue, and it’s continued show of support at times like this will only make it easier to improve peoples’ attitudes towards homosexuality.

UPDATE:  Doc Rivers has issued a statement, which is predictably great.

“I am extremely happy and proud of Jason Collins. He’s a pro’s pro. He is the consummate professional and he is one of my favorite “team” players I have ever coached. If you have learned anything from Jackie Robinson, it is that teammates are always the first to accept. It will be society who has to learn tolerance. One of my favorite sayings is, ‘I am who I am, are whom we are, can be what I want to be its not up to you, it’s just me being me.'”

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  • The reasoning behind “98” was really interesting, too.

    I’m amped for this dude. Totally changes the narrative in pro sports about who can be what.

    • What was the reason for the 98?

      • He said in the article it was a tribute to Matt Shepard, who was murdered in 98.

  • eddysamson

    One of my good friends worked for a long time as a valet driver at the Killington Grand Hotel at Killington Ski Resort in VT, he said the nicest car he ever parked was a Maserati driven by HUGE NBA player who was apparently gay, I wonder if it was JC? Happened like 2-3 years ago.

    • eddysamson

      Also I should say its awesome he came out and I hope he paves the way for more.

    • Bledgreen

      Idk. Jcol only makes the vet minimum. That might not pay for the best car he ecr parked

      • eddysamson

        Well he could have bought it 5+ years ago and he probably made more money back then anyways, I dont think Maserati’s are crazy expensive, though.

        • zippittyay

          I’d like to see him fit in a Maserati.

          • eddysamson

            lol I’d like to see him in any car thats not an SUV or van

  • He wrote such a compelling and honest story – I can’t imagine NOT rooting for him. I have respect for his jersey number and his decision to wait until the end of the season. He truly put his team first so that the media attention that has started and will continue did not impact his team or their focus. I do not know a lot about him other than what he wrote in SI, but he seems like a standup guy with true character.

  • Ron

    Bold move, but great story by Collins. It’s difficult for athletes to come out, because sports is suppose to be a b.s. macho game. So good for Collins. He seems like a good locker room guy wish he was still with the C’s.

  • Good for him I am all for Gay rights. But I figured he would have boxed out better?

  • Graham Brunell

    Good for him. I’m glad the Cs immediately came out with a supporting statement.

  • Graham Brunell

    Shameful. Over at CelticsBlog three outspoken individuals caused the thread to be shut down because they claimed Collins’ actions were “selfish.”

    • omitasub

      I was calling them out on it. They were JR99, Finkelskyhook, and Blue Steel.
      It’s either they are 100 years old, extremely homophobic, or closet gay men.

      • forever_green

        Is was an open thread, they have the right to give their opinion…like it or not…

        • And we have a right to say their opinions are bullshit. Welcome to the internet.

          • omitasub


      • JR99

        omi — I’m very tired of your boundless foolishness. Hint: before you write your silly comments, READ what you’re writing about. And STOP accusing everyone who doesn’t exactly agree with you “homophobic.” If anything, the exact opposite is true. I said then, and I will repeat for the slow one here — This Collins announcement is NOT NEWS, and does not belong in a blog dedicated to the Celtics or basketball. The fact that the media choose to make it “news” is simply a measure of how far we have yet to go as a society. Right now, we remain very confused, and conflicted, about sexuality.

        The end. Now please stop posting your lies and stupidity. Get a life.

        • ejk3489

          How is it not news? Do you not realize the significant (positive) impact this will have on the future of the NBA community?

        • omitasub

          Lies and Stupidity? Old man, are you serious?

          In no way I lied to you or to anybody.

          I was just stating my opinion, and you got butthurt because you are homophobic.

          It must be hard to live your life, living everyday feeling threatened by a gay man shaking your beliefs. If he doesn’t concern you, don’t read or respond. Simple as that.

          If you guys read the CB article about this, you and the 2 other guys were clearly saying that this whole “jason collins coming out” thing is non-news, a cry for attention, saving a dying career and most of all you guys were calling him selfish.

          Thats the most idiotic thing I’ve ever read.

          And how in the world is this a non-news. Wake up! It is the news, it is relevant, to Celtics fans/ NBA fans and Sports fans in general.

          And yes this is similar to the Jackie Robinson story. Just replace the black man with gay man.

          “Jason Collins, finally opening the doors for future openly gay athletes, and it does not matter what sexual orientation you identify with, as long as you can play…”

          This is 2013, get your head out your butt. Time to throw your old ways out the door.

          And you’re calling me foolish? Get outta here son.

          I’m the one with the open mind, and I’m the foolish one. Riiiight…
          It’s clear that YOU need to get a life, not I.

        • You whine on the internet that we are intolerant of your opinion yet criticize a man who has had to live in fear for 33 years because of intolerance. The “this is an NBA blog” is such bull. Did you cry like a baby when they posted entire articles about the Boston marathon bombings? No. You are clearly homophobic, whether you like it or not. At least be honest about it, instead of making up lies that make you sound even more bogus.

          • JR99

            Wow. Your level of ignorance and stupidity is beyond belief. you don’t even know what or whom you’re responding to. Did you even look at what was posted in CelticsBlog?

            I would answer, and explain…. but I know it’s hopeless with folks like you and “omitasub.” So I leave the two of you to wallow in your endless silliness… certain, as I’m sure you are, that you’re right and everyone else is wrong. You know… like infants.

          • wow

            “I would answer, and explain…. but I know it’s hopeless with folks like you…”

            That is a cop out. You can’t answer and you can’t explain.

            You have all the time in the world to write to these blogs and websites why not take the time to express your side?

          • You comment all day and don’t have time? Interesting. I know I’m not wrong about your homophobia. I’ve seen you admit before in Celtics blog that you think bring gay is “wrong” (just like being left handed was once thought to be wrong too, right?). And you keep saying we are “confused about sexuality,” which is a big indicator in itself. Stop avoiding your own self by going on about how we’re being silly.

          • omitasub

            JR99 also posted somewhere along the lines of
            “This is article ridiculous I could vomit”
            It’s since then has been deleted.

            But seriously JR99, you have your right to be against it, just as I have the right to be for it. All we want is a discussion.

            People fear what they don’t know.
            I had a gay cousin who killed himself because society didn’t accept him for who he was.
            So tell me again that I am foolish and stupid and ignorant about this matter.

            If anyone is thinking and acting like a baby, its you JR99.

          • JR99

            Graham, you wrote: “I’ve seen you admit before in Celtics blog that you think bring gay is “wrong””. (sic)

            If you can find any quote of mine, here or in CelticsBlog (where my screen name is the same), that confirms that — I’ll write you a check for $1000. If you fail, however, all you gotta do is come back and write “I am a total moron” 10 times. See how easy it is?

            And you think I should waste my time responding to you, when you are so incredibly stupid as to openly post these VERIFIABLE lies? I suspect you and omistasub couldn’t come up with 2 functioning brain cells between the two of you. So yeah, I give up. I will not waste my time. But my record is clear, and in black and white. Feel free to search my entire history at CelticsBlog — where I have posted thousands of times — to try to find ONE mention of anything remotely close to homophobia. Good luck.

          • Graham Brunell

            All your comments that contain such hateful spew are deleted, like someone already said. Nice try though. It was something along the lines of “I don’t understand why I have to tell my son why gay marriage is right.”

        • Bledgreen

          He is absolutely correct. If our society is as dedicated to equality and tokorabce as they said then this should not be a headline.

          • omitasub

            But our society is not tolerant and as much as we want it to be, its not dedicated to equality
            So it has to be a headline.
            And it has to be out there for everybody to see.

    • kobe

      why? because a certain Jeff from that site is too sensitive, he should come out in the closet too

  • So, it was Joe Kennedy who inadvertently provided the inspiration?

    Not the fact that Collins is 34 years old, has horrible career stats {3 PPG/ 3 RPG}, and figured nobody was about to sign him to a new contract anyways. Just in time to write a book, go on speaking tours, talk shows, go on “Dancing With The Stars”!

    Let`s not confuse Jason Collins with Jackie Robinson.

    Personally, I couldn`t care less about the sexual preference of any individual. However, his timing is very transparent, and the reason he states for coming out sounds less than honest.

    • ejk3489

      Oh yeah, because coming out makes it so much easier for a player to sign with a NBA team. Great logic.

      • It`s amazing anyone has signed him since 2005.

        • KGino

          Leave it to RLC to find the negative in this story

      • Bledgreen

        Alot of teams would do it as a publicity stunt. Namely Dallas who wants to draft a women.

    • kobe

      Hey Red, so when will be your coming out party?

      • omitasub


      • Party?

        Kobe, the last time I threw one you spent the entire evening on the couch “making-out” with Metta World Peace. Who needs all that drama?!?

  • Brick James

    This makes Jayson Collins and Ian Mckellen (Gandalf) the two most notorious gay Wizards.

  • KGino

    No matter what your personal beliefs, another mans life is another mans life and he’s allowed to live it however he wants. Don’t get why this is such a hard concept for people to understand… or how they can call it selfish… Jason Collins just did a lot for the gay community in pro sports.

    One love.