First openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport- NBA player Jason Collins

I don’t really watch sports at all, but I saw this news this morning and thought it’s a pretty big deal. There’s a Sports Illustrated article that looks like it will be in the next issue. I believe there might be openly gay American athletes in other sports, but I believe he is the first of the big ones- basketball, football, baseball. I don’t know anything about Jason Collins other than what I’ve read about him this morning, but I wish him all the best.


Well, basketball strikes me as the least “macho” of the big three (although obviously, the margins between them are kinda thin), so I suppose it makes some sense. But still.

(Also asking if this would be more appropriate in the Game Room.)

There have been rumors for weeks that an athlete from one of the major leagues was going to come out. Is he the only one making an announcement?

Really? :slight_smile: (link is to George Carlin’s “baseball vs. football” routine)

I wasn’t sure where to put this. It is sports related, but I thought there might be non-sports people like me who’d still be interested in the news. But the mods should feel free to move the thread where they think is appropriate.

He’s the only one I’ve seen so far announcing anything. But I would guess there will probably be some more in the non-distant future, after others see how it goes for Collins.

Nothing against Jason Collins for displaying courage here, but I’m still a little disappointed that the first to do it isn’t somebody good enough not to cut. Collins is a marginal player of an advanced age for an athlete, and it will be easy for any team to decline to sign him now for reasons other than possible disruption of their clubhouses. Or maybe Collins didn’t feel confident enough to do this until after accepting that he’s probably done in the NBA anyway?

He mentioned in the article that he thought about coming out last year, but didn’t want the issue to be a distraction to the team while they were in the midst of the season.

In the “who will be the first openly gay player in a major American sport” sweepstakes, mediocre player at the end of his career was pretty high on the list. The fantasy of a ‘big star’ coming out was very low. Seems about right to me. Was he particularly well-known before he came out? If not, then coming out was extremely savvy.

I wish him all the best. There are going to be some hard times ahead and he’s going to probably take some heat but I sincerely hope that his teammates get behind him and help him to come out on top of this situation. Some of the taunts he’ll wind up taking from his former fans will be a bitter pill to swallow but I’m sure he won’t let it bring him to his knees.

Sorry about that. Seriously, though, I do hope everything works out for him, especially from his teammates. They will get lots of stupid questions from the press about locker rooms, hotel rooms and showering together. If they are truly his friend they’ll just give the reporters a good old :rolleyes:and tell them to get lost. If pressed on it, they can just say what I told one of my Army friends when I found out he was gay (this was long before DADT. I told him I didn’t care if he was gay and showering made no difference as long he didn’t keep dropping the soap in front of me. He told me not to worry because he wasn’t attracted to me. Strangely enough I was a little bit hurt when he said that. :confused: I thought I was good looking!

I just hope that, in this current climate, his coming out will actually be enough of an asset to overcome the discrimination he’s going to face. In other words, for every team out there that doesn’t want to work with a gay guy, there will be another that wants to promote themselves as gay friendly.

It’s a nice milestone in the continuing advancement of acceptance of gay people. Collins was never a star, but he’s been the starting center on a Nets team that went to the NBA finals and teams still seem to find him useful as a backup center for about 10 minutes a game. I don’t know that his career is ending, but we’ll see if anyone comes calling for next season.

I thought this was interesting, though: Collins wore 98 with the Celtics and Wizards last season and he says in the article that it was a reference to Matthew Sheppard and to a suicide prevention project.

A lot of NBA players have said complimentary things to him on Twitter. So have Bill and Chelsea Clinton and Martina Navratilova among many others.

Finally, the first openly-gay professional sports player, Jason Collins. Nice article.

Wow. And so it begins. Interesting to see where this goes.

Interesting timing - I can’t recall if the Supreme Court are still in contemplation mode for their cases - I wonder how the media hype related and national conversation about this might influence their thinking - hopefully to the more tolerant side of things…

Previous thread.

Interesting how Collins is being reported as the first openly gay active player.

Sheryl Swoopes came out in 2005.


He’s being reported at the first openly active gay player in one of the major sports and women’s pro basketball doesn’t fall into the category. Most of the articles that I have read this morning mention Swoops.

There have been plenty of openly gay female athletes. Martina Navratilova came out decades ago, and for that matter I can’t think of any openly gay male tennis players. Brittney Greiner was the #1 pick in the WNBA draft a few weeks ago and she came out during an interview on draft night. Gay men and women aren’t seen in quite the same way, and the time lag reflects that.

By the way Nate Silver did a brief analysis on Collins’ prospects for getting another NBA job. His view was that it was basically a 50-50 proposition if you compare him to similar players who’ve retired recently. So in that sense he did take a significant risk. Would this help him get another job or make a team more likely to look for a player who might not be the subject of controversy?

Or perhaps a team could see this as a marketing opportunity. I can see a lot of jersey sales.

Wow, good for him. That must have taken some real guts and I hope he does inspire people and help dispell stereotypes.
I hope he doesn’t take any flak from his teammates for this. Maybe it’s like racism, where the bigots largely hate fictional, over-the-top, straw man stereotypes, and if it’s someone they know and respect they’ll say "well he’s different. He’s one of the good ones. " Also, I would imagine they would realize unprofessional behavior would be frowned upon.

What do you make of the fact that he is gay, but his twin isn’t? Not much, if you’re like me. I actually know a pair of twins like that. I have always believed that being gay is not a choice. So if they were identical, I would just take that to mean that obviously it has more components to it than strictly genetic. There is a guy trolling the SI article comments insisting that this PROVES it’s a choice and therefore we should not allow it. He is being drowned out by positive comments, thankfully.
Also, I believe some of Kinsey’s research indicated that one’s score on the gayness scale of 1-6 can change over time, but I don’t think anyone goes from 100% straight to 100% gay overnight (heh. ) . Not sure about the Kinsey thing anyways, just thought I’d toss that out there for discussion.

Good for him, I’m glad this happened and I hope there are more. I also thought the way that he did it was tasteful.

Nothing at all.