NBA Player Jason Collins Comes Out: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

jason collins gay, sports illustrated
NBA player Jason Collins, a longtime league veteran, has announced in an interview with Sports Illustrated that he’s gay. Here’s what you need to know.

1. He Is The First American Athlete That’s Openly Gay
According to SI, Collins is the first openly gay athlete for a major American sports team. Here’s the cover of the issue, courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

2. The Boston Marathon Bombings Was A Factor in Collin’s Decision
Collins has played for a number of NBA teams, including the Celtics and the Nets, and has been to two NBA Finals. A longtime Boston Celtics player, Collins said in the interview that the Boston Marathon bombings earlier this month showed him the fragility of life. Here’s the quote below:

“The recent Boston Marathon bombing reinforced the notion that 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?”

3. Collins Isn’t The First Openly Gay Athlete Ever, Though
Sports Illustrated said that they found out that Collins wanted to come out in an interview with them only six days ago. One of the biggest sports media outlets in the world, SI knew that Collins may change his mind, but he decided to go through with it. There have been rumors of athletes planning on coming out recently — most notably, reports last March that said NFL players were thinking about coming out together in a joint press conference. But there are a lot of other athletes that are openly gay: tennis star Martina Navratilova, US soccer player Robbie Rogers, and more, but Collins has a higher profile and has battled Hall of Famers, including Shaq.

4. Bill Clinton and the NBA sent Collins Their Congrats
Major celebrities like Bill Clinton and Spike Lee have been talking about Collins on Twitter. Here’s what they said:

Also, both the NBA and Washington Wizards Twitter accounts have tweeted their support too.

5. Phil Jackson Said Earlier This Month That He’s Never Met A Gay NBA Player
Buzzfeed wrote earlier this month, Phil Jackson — the legendary Lakers coach that’s won 11 NBA championship — said in an interview with HuffPost Live that he doesn’t really know any gay NBA players.

Here’s what he said:

“That’s a ridiculous question. None of us have probably ever seen it in all our careers. There’s no inclusiveness to be had. I’ve never run into it in all my career.”

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