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It could be a game that centers around any NBA journeyman. It would go something like this:

Chris Webber played with Peja Stojakovich
Peja Stojakovich played with Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd played with Jason Collins
Collins, 34, has played with 6 teams in his 12 year career. That's a lot of locker rooms. The possibilities are endless. But yesterday Jason Collins made that game much more interesting. All of a sudden, six locker rooms full of macho NBA athletes joined most of the US in a way that they can no longer deny. Not to mention 4 teams from Stanford and a host of opponents at every level of competition going back to the playground.
Some people insist they've never met a gay person. But Three Degrees of Jason Collins dictates that no NBA player can claim that anymore. Pro basketball is a family. And pretty much every family I know has a brother, sister or cousin who's gay. In the brotherhood of the NBA, I just happen to be the one who's out.

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And the response to Collins coming out has been largely positive so far. Sure, the closed-minded, "God-fearin" crowd is having its say on the message boards but the number of "good for him"s and "shouldn't even be an issue"s far
                                                              outweigh them.

Pro sports may be the strongest bastion of homophobia in the United States, probably across the western world. Collins' brave announcement could prove to be the first major blow to the conventional wisdom that a gay man can't compete at the highest levels of professional sports.

NBA Center Jason Collins Reveals He Is Gay To Sports IllustratedMany point out that Collins' career statistics (.410 Field Goal %, 1.3 Points per Game, 3.8 Rebounds per Game) won't put him anywhere near the Hall of Fame. Many point out that Collins' current contract expires in June. Some point out that Collins could stand to benefit financially from coming out publicly.


Jason Collins's announcement is another step in the gradual acceptance of homosexuality in the United States: culturally, emotionally, and legally.

again, from the SI article

I'm glad I'm coming out in 2013 rather than 2003. The climate has shifted; public opinion has shifted. And yet we still have so much farther to go. Everyone is terrified of the unknown, but most of us don't want to return to a time when minorities were openly discriminated against. I'm impressed with the straight pro athletes who have spoken up so far -- Chris Kluwe, Brendan Ayanbadejo. The more people who speak out, the better, gay or straight.

If Jason Collins makes even one young gay athlete feel better about themself, or makes one potential bully think twice about their actions then Collins has done a great service to his community, our community. Gay, straight, transgender. We are all in this together.


Collins credits Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Ma-4th District), his former Stanford roommate with helping to push his decision.

NBA star Jason Collins comes out – and Kennedy shows support @757Live

"I realized I needed to go public when Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford and now a Massachusetts congressman, 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. I was proud of him for participating but angry that as a closeted gay man I couldn't even cheer my straight friend on as a
Jason Collins follows a proud tradition of athletes announcing their sexuality: Martina Navratilova, Greg Louganis, Sheryl Swoopes, Orlando Cruz, Megan Rapinoe, Esera Tuaolo, Brittney Griner, and John Amaechi.

While I think that we will have to wait a while for a superstar pro-athlete to announce that they are LGBT in the prime of their career in one of the "Big Four", I do believe that the day is coming. The day that I can't wait for is the day when they won't have to.

Originally posted to The Wide World of Sports on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 02:45 AM PDT.

Also republished by LGBT Kos Community, Milk Men And Women, and Remembering LGBT History.

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