Jason Collins reveals he is gay

Jason Collins the NBA center, who spent last season with the Washington Wizards and the Boston Celtics, came out of the closet in an interview with Sports Illustrated. He is now a free agent.

WAIT, JASON WHO?

Good question, Collins is 34, played 12 NBA season (before that he attended Harvard-Westlake [in LA] and Stanford (where he played in the Final Four with his twin brother Jarron Collins).

He’s played for 6 NBA teams (the New Jersey Nets from 2001-2008, the Memphis Grizzles for the 2007-2008 season, the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 2008-2009 season, the Atlantic Hawks from 2009-2012 and then the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards this past season).

HOLD ON, 6 TEAMS IN 11 YEARS? IS HE ANY GOOD

Well, that depends on what you mean by “good.”

He’s a 7 foot NBA center, who sometimes starts (not lately, he only started nine games this past season).

He averaged 3.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 20.8 min a game for his career (thus far… we’ll get to that).

SO WHY SHOULD I CARE?

He is the first active player in a major American team sport to announce that he is gay.

I’ve heard a lot of rumors (many of them printed) about NFL players announcing they are gay.

In the news recently, people talked about Alan Gendreau. The Atlantic Wire (stupidly) ran this headline “The NFL Passed on Its Chance to Draft an Openly Gay Player

WHOA, WHOA, WHOAT… HOLD YOUR HORSES. WHO IS THIS GENDREAU GUY AND WHAT DOES HE HAVE TO DO WITH THE STORY?

Alan Gendreau is a openly gay former Middle Tennessee State kicker.

WAS HE DRAFTED?

No, he wasn’t —

SO WHY DON’T YOU LIKE THIS HEADLINE? IT’S TRUE

STOP INTERRUPTING ME!!! I don’t like this headline since it’s misleading, the implication is that every NFL team didn’t draft him because he was gay.

Only two kickers were chosen in the whole NFL draft and I don’t think anyone could argue that he was one of the best kickers in College Sports (he went 8-of-14 on kicks in his senior season).

OK, SO BACK TO COLLINS, WHAT HAS THE REACTION BEEN TO HIS ANNOUNCEMENT?

Well, it’s still early but it’s largely been positive. His twin brother Jarron (who played in the NBA) tweeted his support and Former President Bill Clinton also expressed support.

OK, WE KNEW HIS BROTHER AND CLINTON WOULD BE SUPPORTIVE, WHO ELSE?

The Wizards released the following statement:

“We are extremely proud of Jason and support his decision to live his life proudly and openly. He has been a leader on and off the court and an outstanding teammate throughout his NBA career. Those qualities will continue to serve him both as a player and as a positive role model for others of all sexual orientation.”

Collins is endorsed by Nike, who released this statement:

“Jason is a Nike athlete. We are a company committed to diversity and inclusion”

SO WHY DID HE COME OUT NOW?

Collins said he realized he needed to come out publicly when his former Stanford roommate Joe Kennedy (now a Congressman from MA, yes of THOSE Kennedy’s, his grandfather is Bobby) marched in Boston’s Gay Pride Parade last year.

Apparently the recent Boston bombings —

HOLD UP! THE BOSTON BOMBINGS! HOW DOES THAT HAVE ANYTHING —

I’m just relaying his thoughts, he said:

“I shouldn’t wait for the circumstances of my coming out to be perfect. Things can change in an instant, so why not live truthfully?”

Collins and Joe Kennedy plan on marching the the Gay Pride Parade together in 2013.

OK, LET’S GET CYNICAL… WILL THIS HELP OR HURT HIM AS A FREE AGENT?

I imagine it will help, Collins has gained so many new fans and is more popular than ever. I think a team would love to have some break that barrier (as the Brooklyn Dodgers had Jackie Robinson).

Either way, I can’t imagine that it would have really hurt him, he’s not a very good player and he’s 34 (a little math: 7 feet + 255 lbs + Tons of basketball = injuries).

I could see places that have a large gay population looking at him for a bench, role-playing opportunity.

BUT ISN’T HE GOING TO BRING TIM TEBOW MEDIA CIRCUS AND CRAZINESS TO THE TEAM?

Probably, he’ll bring attention and probably increase attendance, jersey sales. For all those teams losing money (rolling my eyes), this should be welcome.

It could be a distraction (see Tebow, Tim) but it would probably be worth it for a team in a city with a strong gay population and could use a defensive big man coming off the bench.

I will probably write more about this in the future but wanted to get this out in the world.

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~ by realfactsandbeer on April 29, 2013.

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