Former Hawks center Jason Collins comes out as gay

Former Hawks center Jason Collins comes out as gay

Posted: Updated:
Photo courtesy: SI.com Photo courtesy: SI.com

NEW YORK (AP) -- NBA veteran Jason Collins became the first active male player in the four major American professional sports to come out as gay.
 
The 34-year-old center, who has played for six teams in 12 seasons, wrote a first-person account that was posted on Sports Illustrated's website Monday. Collins finished the season with the Washington Wizards and is now a free agent. He says he wants to keep playing.
 
"If I had my way, someone else would have already done this," he writes. "Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."
 
Collins played in a Final Four for Stanford and reached two NBA Finals. His twin brother, Jarron, was also a longtime NBA center. Collins says he told his brother he was gay last summer.

HOT TOPIC QUESTION: Does it matter to you if a professional athlete is gay or straight?
POST YOUR COMMENTS ON OUR FOX 5 ATLANTA FACEBOOK PAGE
 
"Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue," NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement.
 
Among those offering support on social media was former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, a friend from Stanford. She tweeted: "Very proud of my friend Jason Collins for having the strength & courage to be the first openly gay player in the NBA."
 
Collins was also college roommates with another member of an American political dynasty: Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass.  In his account, Collins wrote that he realized he needed to go public when the congressman walked in Boston's gay pride parade last year -- and Collins couldn't join him.
 
Kennedy tweeted Monday that  "I've always been proud to call (Collins) a friend, and I'm even prouder to stand with him today."
 
Mostly a backup in his career, Collins has averaged 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds for the Nets, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Hawks, Celtics and Wizards. He was traded from Boston to Washington in February. Collins was the 18th pick in the first round of the 2001 NBA draft.
 
Several male athletes have previously come out after they retired, including the NBA's John Amaechi, the NFL's Esera Tuaolo and Major League Baseball's Billy Bean. But Collins is the first to do so while planning to keep playing.
 
Advocacy organization GLAAD released a statement from Aaron McQuade, who head of its sports program.
 
"'Courage' and 'inspiration' are words that get thrown around a lot in sports, but Jason Collins has given both ideas a brand new context," he said. "We hope that his future team will welcome him, and that fans of the NBA and sports in general will applaud him. We know that the NBA will proudly support him, and that countless young LGBT Athletes now have a new hero."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE WHOLE STORY ON SI.COM: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/magazine/news/20130429/jason-collins-gay-nba-player/#all

  • More SportsMore>>

  • Atlanta Falcons

    Falcons 2014-2015 schedule released

    Falcons 2014-2015 schedule released

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:13:59 GMT
    The NFL has released the 2014-2015 season schedules and the Atlanta Falcons slate of games provides plenty of intrigue. Here are a few items of interest. Week 1 will be a rematch of last year’s season opener, only this time, the New Orleans Saints come to the Georgia Dome. The Falcons play the Detroit Lions in London in Week 8. It’s a game fans will have to get up early to watch. It airs at 9:30 a.m. EST.
    The NFL has released the 2014-2015 season schedules and the Atlanta Falcons slate of games provides plenty of intrigue. Here are a few items of interest. Week 1 will be a rematch of last year’s season opener, only this time, the New Orleans Saints come to the Georgia Dome. The Falcons play the Detroit Lions in London in Week 8. It’s a game fans will have to get up early to watch. It airs at 9:30 a.m. EST.
  • Hawks fall to Pacers 101-85 in game two

    Hawks fall to Pacers 101-85 in game two

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:58:54 GMT
    The Indiana Pacers got the better of the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday night in game two of the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Pacers defeated the Hawks 101-85 and have now tied the series at one win apiece. The Pacers won on a strong performance out of their star forward Paul George. George led the team in both scoring and rebounds and ended the night with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Both teams were playing very closely until the Pacers outscored the Hawks 31-13 in the third quarter. Jef...
    The Indiana Pacers got the better of the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday night in game two of the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Pacers defeated the Hawks 101-85 and have now tied the series at one win apiece. The Pacers won on a strong performance out of their star forward Paul George. George led the team in both scoring and rebounds and ended the night with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Both teams were playing very closely until the Pacers outscored the Hawks 31-13 in the third quarter. Jef...
  • Evan Gattis lifts Braves over Marlins after 10th inning walk off homerun

    Evan Gattis lifts Braves over Marlins after 10th inning walk off homerun

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:02 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:02:42 GMT
    The Atlanta Braves defeated the Miami Marlins Monday night 4-2 after a walk-off two run home run in the bottom of the tenth inning. After playing a marathon 14 inning game Sunday night the braves played in another extra-innings game the next night. Julio Teheran followed up his complete game shut-out in Philadelphia with another solid pitching effort giving up only one run through seven innings and striking out eight batters. A clutch RBI single by Jason Heyward in the 7th inning put the Brav...
    The Atlanta Braves defeated the Miami Marlins Monday night 4-2 after a walk-off two run home run in the bottom of the tenth inning. After playing a marathon 14 inning game Sunday night the braves played in another extra-innings game the next night. Julio Teheran followed up his complete game shut-out in Philadelphia with another solid pitching effort giving up only one run through seven innings and striking out eight batters. A clutch RBI single by Jason Heyward in the 7th inning put the Brav...
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices