Today Jason Collins shocked the world by revealing a secret in Sports Illustrated that precious few people knew about. You see, up until very recently Mr. Collins had a secret that he kept from everyone. Even members of his family. This secret, were it to come out might have made his life very difficult. But Mr. Collins, a 13 year veteran with the NBA has finally bared his soul. I'll let him do the honors here:
I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay.
That's right. He's...Black! OK, I'll stop now because it's a huge deal that a sports player has come out of the closet at all. Plus, it's a very interesting story told with some gut wrenching detail. I encourage people to read the entire story to better understand his journey. And there are some larger implications as well. Why does a journeyman center at the end of his career (he currently has no contract) feel comfortable coming out as opposed to an established player with some star power? Perhaps we'll get into that in a later post. But first I need to say this: DUDE, WE KNOW YOU'RE BLACK!
Maybe that sounds a little harsh. But it's the second time this has happened this week. Here's a State Senator from Nevada coming out during a vote to repeal Nevada's ban on same-sex marriage. The Las Vegas Sun has the story:
"I’m black. I'm gay," Atkinson said in a trembling voice after describing his father's interracial re-marriage that would have been banned earlier in American history. "I know this is the first time many of you have heard me say that I am a black, gay male."Talk about burying the lead. I'm fairly certain that the people you worked with had an inkling of your racial heritage. There were several things that I and the rest of your colleagues did not know. Things like you were gay or that you're father had an interracial marriage. The black thing we could probably could figure out for ourselves. But back to Mr. Collins.
Since the "outing, " numerous people from within the sports world and beyond have expressed their admiration for his courage. The Huffington Post collected positive Tweets directed at Mr. Collins' coming out. It ranges from Kobe Bryant to President Clinton. It's been an awesome spectacle to behold. Pretty sure that has to do with the gay thing and not the black thing.