Jason Collins is a center in the NBA. He currently plays for the Washington Wizards. Yesterday, Collins made history. Collins announced that, in an article that will appear in Sports Illustrated he is gay. This makes Collins the first openly gay active player in any of the four major sports: baseball, basketball, football and hockey. I personally think this is absolutely great. Collins’ coming out is not only great for the sport but great for humanity. Why shouldn’t he hide his sexuality? Is Jason Collins any different from who he was forty-eight hours ago? Is he still one of the nicest players in the league? He is. Only now, we know that he’s gay. The world is still turning. The response has been mixed from players and coaches giving well wishes and their congratulations to Collins. Others haven’t. But that’s okay. The fact of the matter is that the world is a different place now. It’s 2013. Collins is out and proud. I support him. I do not follow basketball very well. I can’t name all the players on the Boston Celtics. I know a few superstars on some of the other teams. But that’s really about it. This is what I would say to Jason Collins-Good luck. There are going to be people who don’t understand why you came out. Or why you’re gay. It’s okay though. People are going to criticize you. But these people, many of them are just afraid. People are afraid of what they don’t understand. Do your best to ignore them. You are who you are. Nobody can change that. Just keep on playing basketball. You have the support of all of us who care about the person, not just the player on the court. I wish you well as you are going to be looked at so differently now. People like me, we’re just writers. What we say probably dosen’t mean as much as your family and your teammates say. But I still wish you the best.
As a Christian, I am expecting things will get hard for you Jason. He will be called names. He will be screamed at and taunted. This will be wrong but other people will rise up and stand by you. I personally welcome you coming out with open arms. I will pray for Jason Collins. Not for him to ‘find God’ and give up this ‘lifestyle.’ I pray for Collins to find his acceptance in this league.
What will be interesting to see is if other players follow Collins’ lead. I think some will. But people are still going to be scared. It’s a scary world to come out in. Sports. People always think of sports being the tough, nitty-gritty world free where you have to be tough and not show other emotions or feelings. On the contrary, I love it when people show emotion on the field. It shows me how much they care. At the end of the day, Jason Collins is out. He will be facing a mountain.