I remember watching Jason Collins play ball at Stanford. He was pretty good. He and his twin brother both went into the NBA and had pretty decent careers. I hadn’t followed Jason recently and I didn’t even know he was still active.
But when I noticed his name was being talked about on Twitter, I remembered him and wanted to see what had happened. When I found out that he had made it public that he was gay, I smiled. And when I realized that he was still an active player, it made me want to stand up and cheer.
The thing about this move is that Collins becomes the first active player in the four major American sports to do this. More importantly, with the NBA playoffs underway, this might have been the perfect timing and wake up call for the country.
I don’t know what it is like to be gay and to hold that secret in. Especially for the macho culture we’ve given sports, I can imagine it was a tough decision to make. But I think over the past year or so, there has been a growing acceptance to the idea of the gay athlete. There still are slip ups every now and then (Chris Culliver, Kobe Bryant) but I feel that the majority of the athletes are OK with a gay teammate. I believe that’s the same for fans too.
With Collins coming out, I really believe that other athletes may also feel confident in coming out and having the same kind of support. Numerous other athletes from all over the Twitter world are tweeting their support. Even my friends are doing it too.
This could be the start of something big for sports. Collins is a pioneer for the gay athlete. And in a sense, a big step forward for all people who are unsure about coming out. I want to see a world without fear about this issue where it really becomes a non-issue.
Even though there are people out there who are against homosexuality, this isn’t the time nor the place to start rioting, protesting or rubbing religious words in people’s faces. This is not about that. This is about a change that is real and happening.
I don’t want to define any person by their sexual orientation. I want to see a person for what kind of person they are. Are they nice? Are they considerate? Are they good at their job? Things like that.
The day when a person’s sexual orientation doesn’t matter, that’s when we’ve truly won. Jason helped lead us into that direction today. Thank you and I hope that this is something that will lead to a more accepting America.