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The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Jason Collins takes a gargantuan leap for LGBT community

Jason Collins takes a gargantuan leap for  LGBT community

NBA center Jason Collins publicly proclaimed Monday April 29, that he is gay in an exceptionally written article for Sports Illustrated. Collins gallantly became the first active male player in a major American team sport history to identify himself as openly gay.

As Collins mentions in his article, his journey of self-discovery led him to two state high school championships, appearing in both the NCAA Final Four and the Elite Eight in college at Stanford and he played in nine NBA postseason games in twelve seasons.

Collins expressed his enervation about not endorsing his sexual identity beforehand and described how his professional status became more of an encumbrance for him.

“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,” Collins wrote. “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.”

Now 34-year-old Collins, who is a free agent, hopes to continue his career in the NBA next season. His proclamation has gained a lot of respect and support from both members of the NBA and abroad.

“I have known Jason Collins since he was Chelsea’s (his daughter) classmate and friend at Stanford,” President Bill Clinton remarked. “Jason’s announcement today is an important moment for professional sports and in the history of the LGBT community.”

It is still too early to tell how NBA owners will accept Collins’ statement. Will he be condemned for the rest of his career to a hindrance of solitude? Will 34-year old Collins be welcomed to a team with open arms?

The problem is his age and the fact that he was never an all-star player in the NBA. He has always been a role player, hustling for loose balls and grabbing a rebound here and there.

“Well, in terms of resigning, I don’t know if his announcement is a factor or not,” DVC Men’s head basketball coach Steve Coccimiglio said. “He’s a 34-year-old, back up post guy. The NBA is a young man’s game, so it’s hard to say how it will affect his career.”

One could say that it is a bit harder for gay male athletes to be accepted in today’s sports world, seeing that women like former Baylor University basketball star Brittney Griner and WNBA future hall of famer Sheryl Swoopes have identified themselves as gay without any homophobic feedback from the media.

“I do feel like it’s harder to be a gay male athlete because we are looked at as being male, masculine, dominant, and we can’t express our feelings or else we are usually labeled as soft. Whereas females are already considered more gentle like flowers or have that stereotype so people seem to be more accepting of that in today’s society,” returning DVC point guard Connor Jean said.

When asked how he would feel about a gay teammate next season, without hesitation DVC running back, Marquis Waters responded: “Honestly, It’s 2013. People are all about being individuals,” Waters said. “If someone wants to be gay that doesn’t change the fact that they are an athlete, so I don’t really have a problem with that.”

Only time will tell, whether Collins will continue as an NBA ball player or whether he will have to figure out ways to put that degree from Stanford University to use.

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About the Contributor
Aaron Hudson, Sports editor
Sports editor, spring 2013.

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Jason Collins takes a gargantuan leap for LGBT community