NBA Basketball Player Jason Collins Reveals He Is Gay

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NBA player Jason Collins is the first American major sports athlete to reveal that he is gay. Photo Credit: NBA Washington Wizards

WESTCHESTER, N.Y. -- Jason Collins, a professional basketball player with the National Basketball Association's Washington Wizards, has revealed he is gay in an article in by SI.com The Magazine due out on May 6.

Collins, 34, a graduate of Stanford University and 11-year NBA veteran, is the first American professional male athlete in a major sport to say he is gay.

"I am black and I am gay," Collins is quoted in the article. "I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in major American team sport, but since I am. I'm happy to start the conversation."

Former President Bill Clinton, a Chappaqua resident, praised Collins in a statement issued Monday afternoon.  He said he has known Collins as a classmate of his daughter, Chelsea, while she was at Stanford.

"Jason's announcement today is an important moment for professional sports and in the history of the LGBT community. It is also the straightforward statement of a good man who wants no more than what so many of us seek: to be able to be who we are; to do our work; to build families and to contribute to our communities," Clinton's statement said.

Clinton later tweeted, "I'm proud to call Jason Collins a friend."

Collins, a center, has also played for the New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics.

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Comments (8)

cjmesq:

His former girlfriend is "stunned" by this revelation. She dated him for 8 years, then he allegedly dumped her before allegedly getting hitched.

He's not exactly Jackie Robinson, folks. Now, if he played for the Saudi Arabian Sea Hawks Basketball Team and announced he was gay, THAT is bravery. Then again, he'd be killed...but think of his bravery.

scoopemup:

I bet your parents are thrilled.

eefs:

On another note, it's pretty hllarious that he came out as black. I mean, um. You know. Wanda Sykes has a hilarious stand up routine about being a lesbian and black -- and how she didn't have to tell her family she was, um, black.

His saying, "I'm black and I'm gay" is ridiculous.

Blabbermouth68:

eefs: You are right, of course. His agent probably told him that, since his career was winding down, it might be a good idea to come out of the closet. I mean,didn't it work for Magic Johnson and his AIDS diagnosis? (the cause of which was tip-toed around and never explained--although everyone knew). It seems that the new definition of "courage" in America now includes proudly asserting that you commit unspeakably disgusting and disease-spreading acts, with other sick people, as part of a lifestyle as a multi-millionaire who bounces a ball for a living.
Rosa Parks will , once again, have to take a back seat.

eefs:

Timmy: It's not that I don't think it's important... (how many hundreds of other athletes are gay? Yes... of course, and they should have come out before he did.) BUT on a "news" level, in a local paper -- the news having been spread ALL OVER THE NET and national newspapers, who didn't hear about it before, and was it necessary to take up space in a local on line paper? THAT was my question. NOT whether it was worthy; but that it was here.

e.

eefs:

And this is newsworthy in our local rag, why?

Blabbermouth68:

Well, if Bill Clinton, world-renown for lifestyle choices and morality, and "straightforward statements", is proud to call Jason Collins a friend, that's good enough for me!

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