I would like to commend Jason Collins for his public announcement that he is gay. Collins, in an article to appear in Sports Illustrated later this week, acknowledged something that he has been hiding for over 30 years. In doing so, he became the first active male player in major team sports to come out and proclaim that he is gay.
That had to be an enormous burden to carry over that period of time. He hid it from his family, friends and teammates for years.
Now he can live his life without this burden. If anyone could carry this torch, Collins is the one. I have known him since his rookie year with the New Jersey Nets and this guy is articulate, engaging and smart. He knows what he is up against and should be well prepared enough to handle it.
So far the reception has been mostly positive and hopefully that will continue. He will be a free agent this summer and it will be interesting to see if this will affect his attempt to sign another contract. Many are of the opinion that if he is not signed for this upcoming season, it will be due to the fact that his productivity will be the issue and not his sexual preference.
Hopefully this will give other gay or lesbian individuals the courage to come out as well. I’m not just talking about athletes. I’m talking people of all walks of life. Regardless of your take on the subject, I just hope that we can accept individuals based on who they are and not what they are.