The Talker: NBA player Jason Collins comes out as gay - FOX 35 News Orlando

The Talker: NBA player Jason Collins comes out as gay

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

For a number of years now in many--if not most parts--of American life, people who are gay have been honest about who they are, and accepted for who they are; but, not in America's biggest sports leagues.

The NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB have never had an active player say publicly that he is gay. Until now.

The basketball player Jason Collins has told his story. His first-person narrative in Sports Illustrated begins: "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black and I'm gay."

Collins said lying about his sexuality for 12 NBA seasons took enormous energy and made him miserable, but he felt his world would fall apart if anyone knew the truth.

In more recent years, he wanted to tell the truth, but did not want to be a distraction to the teams he played on. Then, two big things happened.

First: he's not on a team. He's a free agent, so he's in-between teams. So for the moment, he represents only himself.

The second thing was the Boston Marathon bombing. Collins writes the 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?"

Up until now, the perception was that a gay athlete in one of the biggest sports leagues would not be accepted by his teammates. Some straight athletes have said that. But, things have been changing quickly and the reaction to Collins has been overwhelmingly positive among pro-athletes.

Kobe Bryant tweeted, "Proud of Jason Collins. Don't suffocate who you are because of the ignorance of others.

NBA player Steve Nash tweeted: "The time has come. Maximum respect."

One negative remark came from football player Mike Wallace who said, "All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys." He later deleted the tweet and wrote: "Never said anything was right or wrong. I just said I don't understand! Deeply sorry for anyone that I offended."

Follow Us!

Share Your Sports Photos & Video

Submit Your Sports Photos
  • SportsMore>>

  • Jay Cutler rallies Bears past 49ers in fourth

    Jay Cutler rallies Bears past 49ers in fourth

    Monday, September 15 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-09-15 04:04:00 GMT
    Jay Cutler passed for three fourth-quarter touchdowns after much of Chicago's starting defense went down, and the Bears beat the San Francisco 49ers 28-20 Sunday night to spoil their Levi's Stadium debut.
    Jay Cutler passed for three fourth-quarter touchdowns after much of Chicago's starting defense went down, and the Bears beat the San Francisco 49ers 28-20 Sunday night to spoil their Levi's Stadium debut.
  • Peterson case creates new crisis for NFL

    Peterson case creates new crisis for NFL

    Sunday, September 14 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-09-15 00:10:55 GMT
    The NFL was already under heavy criticism this week for the way it handled of a domestic violence case involving a prominent player.
    Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson's booking on a child abuse charge Saturday has created another crisis for the embattled NFL, already derided for not responding strongly enough to acts of domestic...
  • Bears look for win against 49ers in Levi's opener

    Bears look for win against 49ers in Levi's opener

    Sunday, September 14 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-09-14 23:05:00 GMT
    Colin Kaepernick's breakout performance against the Chicago Bears two years ago helped make him a star. He can only hope to be as dominant again while facing Chicago in his Levi's Stadium debut on Sunday.
    Colin Kaepernick's breakout performance against the Chicago Bears two years ago helped make him a star. He can only hope to be as dominant again while facing Chicago in his Levi's Stadium debut on Sunday.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices