Toronto Diary
1 min

NBA player Jason Collins comes out as gay

After years of waiting and months of speculation, the very first active professional athlete in a major sports league has finally come out.

Jason Collins, a centre for the Washington Wizards, has officially come out to Sports Illustrated, making him not only the first openly gay player in the NBA, but on any major-league sports team in North America.

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. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, “I’m different.” If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.

My journey of self-discovery and self-acknowledgement began in my hometown of Los Angeles and has taken me through two state high school championships, the NCAA Final Four and the Elite Eight, and nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons.

Considering how incredibly closeted the professional sports world is, and how close-minded certain athletes can be, this was a huge step for Collins to step forward and represent for gay people in sports. So a huge congratulations to Jason for his bravery and for taking the first step when no one else would. 


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