NBA’s Jason Collins: Yep, I’m Gay

Jason Collins Gay Athlete

Jason Collins became America’s first openly gay male pro athlete. Really? Seems like there should be more.

The 34-year-old NBA center, who is currently a free agent, came out on the cover of Sports Illustrated, proclaiming:

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

I guess coming out on the Sports Illustrated cover is like coming out on the cover of People for athletes.

The basketball player has said it is “mind-boggling” to be the first active male athlete in a major sport in the US to come out as gay. He also revealed that the Boston Marathon bombings partially inspired him to come out.

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?

His grandma, however, wasn’t so sure about the whole ‘coming out’ plan:

My maternal grandmother was apprehensive about my plans to come out. She grew up in rural Louisiana and witnessed the horrors of segregation. During the civil rights movement she saw great bravery play out amid the ugliest aspects of humanity. She worries that I am opening myself up to prejudice and hatred. I explained to her that in a way, my coming out is preemptive. I shouldn’t have to live under the threat of being outed. The announcement should be mine to make, not TMZ’s.

So far, Jason Collins has been inundated with messages of support. Even President Obama gave him a call to offer support and congratulate the NBA player. But what’s even more important than getting a call from the president is increasing your Twitter base. Jason Collins gained some 10,000 Twitter followers just one hour after the story came out. So that’s the trick…

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