April 29, 2013

The story behind Jason Collins' story: How it happened: I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay.....

posted by BornIcon to basketball at 11:13 AM - 20 comments

What a wonderful way to tell this story, but how sad is it that he felt it necessary to stay in the closet so long?

posted by billsaysthis at 12:17 PM on April 29

I've endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie. I was certain that my world would fall apart if anyone knew. And yet when I acknowledged my sexuality I felt whole for the first time.

This may be the most important message to be taken from this story. I hope this is the one that resonates from this moment, and every other person that feels like they are forced to hide their sexuality from the world has a chance to hear it.

posted by grum@work at 12:28 PM on April 29

The NBA has a real opportunity here to become the truly progressive major sport in North America - if a suite of superstars comes out and supports Jason, it'd be a real step forward and would put pressure on other sports and stars to do the same.

Courageous guy.

posted by dfleming at 01:53 PM on April 29

Lots of positive reactions from the NBA community. This is a great day in U.S. sports history.

posted by rcade at 02:01 PM on April 29

Awesome. Hope this has a cascading effect.

posted by dfleming at 02:21 PM on April 29

It's a little strange to me that this story seems like such a big deal when John Amaechi came out in 2007. While Jason Collins is technically not retired he isn't much more than roster fodder at this point and I would be surprised to see another team sign him. Is it that big of a deal that he's technically an active player or are we, as a society, just more accepting of players being gay now than we were in 2007?

On edit: Here's the Spofi discussion on Amaechi from '07

posted by tron7 at 02:34 PM on April 29

The NBA has a real opportunity here to become the truly progressive major sport in North America

Like these guys: NHL, NHLPA combine to form a partnership with You Can Play Project

posted by tommytrump at 02:41 PM on April 29

The lead story on NBA.Com is about Collins and calls his announcement "true courage." It seems like the league is ready to run with this.

posted by rcade at 02:47 PM on April 29

If you want your faith in humanity to be undermined, take a look at the comments threads accompanying this story at Yahoo!, ESPN, and other outlets.

posted by holden at 04:59 PM on April 29

You can also ask Mike Wallace. Nice start to your Dolphins career - the team needing to distance itself from you publicly.

posted by dfleming at 05:18 PM on April 29

My son just came home from work and we briefly spoke about this. His comment was to the effect that he didn't know why this was a big deal. My reply was that it really isn't a big deal. Maybe you can call Collins "courageous" or a "pioneer", but I call him a guy that is more comfortable being who and what he is rather than trying to be what others might want him to be. His chief value as an NBA player is his expiring contract, and the fact that he likely won't play again probably weighed heavily in his decision. Either way, it's long overdue, and might begin a trend.

posted by Howard_T at 05:24 PM on April 29

Yeah it's strange. I think the younger me wouldn't have thought this was a big deal, but the older, more experienced version of me understands the difference between what is right and self-evident, versus what is. And how hard you have to fight for the basics sometimes.

Having said that, I'm curious to see how the bigger story evolves. Sports culture is a firm step behind the popular landscape in terms of the enlightened treatment of homosexuals as fellow human beings, and frankly the fact that Jason Collins is a nobody at the end of his career speaks volumes as to how much more work might need to be done.

posted by phaedon at 07:11 PM on April 29

ESPN analyst Chris Broussard says Collins being gay means he's not a Christian.

posted by rcade at 10:11 PM on April 29

Great news, and in particular gratifying to see that the dominant reaction is somewhere between "at last" and "so what".

As for ESPN, being gay is real. Being a Christian is made up.

posted by owlhouse at 10:20 PM on April 29

ESPN analyst Chris Broussard says Collins being gay means he's not a Christian.

It's obvious that Mr. Broussard knows nothing about Christianity. A Christian should be accepting of all who act in a manner consistent with the Judaeo-Christian ethic. Accept and welcome the people; approving of their life-style is not necessary. Disapproval of the life-style and accepting the person does not mean trying to change someone to a style of which you approve. Not too many years ago I might have had a very different reaction to Jason Collins, but I've learned a few things over the past decade or 2 that make me see a lot of things differently now.

posted by Howard_T at 12:08 AM on April 30

So when is ESPN announcing Broussard's suspension or firing?

posted by billsaysthis at 11:59 AM on April 30

My reply was that it really isn't a big deal.

I think it's not necessarily a big deal on it's own, but should lead to the bigger promised land of the day when there are many athletes on many teams who have come out and don't feel the need to repress their sexuality because of the job they hold.

That is indeed a big deal.

posted by Ricardo at 04:36 PM on April 30

"Jason Collins has nothing to be ashamed of -- it's not like he plays for the Lakers."

~ TV's Craig Ferguson

posted by tommytrump at 09:20 AM on May 01

Bubba Watson sticks up for Broussard. Sigh.

posted by rcade at 01:05 PM on May 02

In case you still needed convincing, Sage Steele is an idiot.

posted by yerfatma at 04:09 PM on May 02

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