Today is a historic day in American sports history. Jason Collins, who plays for the NBA’s Washington Wizards, sat down in an interview with Sports Illustrated and announced that he is gay, making him the first active player in a major American team sport to announce that he is gay.
Collins said, “I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation.” Collins had a lot of support from his fellow NBA Players. NBA great Kobe Bryant tweeted “Proud of @jasoncollins34,” the tweet read, “Don’t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU”.
NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement, “As Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family. 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.”
Not surprisingly, there have also been ignorant comments, such as that of NFL player Mike Wallace, current Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver, who tweeted, “I’m not bashing anybody don’t have anything against anyone I just don’t understand it…All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH…” He quickly took that down and tweeted a new message saying, “Never said anything was right or wrong I just said I don’t understand!! Deeply sorry for anyone that I offended.”
Last week, we spoke to former All Pro and Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner, who is the host of the USA Network show The Moment. He told us that he has no problem with having gay teammates, and that people should never step in the way of sexual orientation. (Click on the media bar below to hear Kurt Warner).
Do you agree with the former NFL great? We applaud Jason Collins and hope that he will be a role model for others who have dealt with hiding who they are.
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