The world of basketball has been a-buzz with the news that former Washington Wizards (now free agent) center Jason Collins is gay. With his announcement to Sports Illustrated, Collins has become the first openly gay active athlete in the NBA; a milestone for both the NBA and major professional team sports in the United States.
Collins’ announcement has been greeted with an amazing amount of positive support from fellow players, NBA officials, sponsors and public officials. The outpouring of support is an encouraging sign for the GLBTQ community, and is a very big step foreword for acceptance in a profession that has been traditionally, shall we say, less than friendly.
Not everybody has welcomed this player’s identity with open arms, but his coming out is an inspiration to young athletes all over the country and all over the world.
Nobody should ever have to hide who they really are, and we are quickly approaching a period in time when a professional athlete coming out will not even be given a second thought by the media. Until then, the courage it took for Collins to be the first is laudable. He’s breaking down stereotypes and playing some great basketball along the way.