Celebrity Gossip Never Looked So Good ®
YBF on Twitter YBF on Facebook YBF on Instagram Feed

COMING OUT: NBA CENTER Jason Collins PENS Open Letter On Becoming "The First Openly Gay Professional American Athlete"

 photo tumblr_mm0w4s4ZDw1qm9rypo1_1280.jpg

On the cover of the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, debuting May 6, NBA Center Jason Collins pens an emotional open letter where he announces himself to the world as "...the first openly gay athlete."  Read the letter inside...

 

The first few months of 2013 have definitely been interesting as far as sexuality and disclosure are concerned, as we've watched several high profile situations play out on social media...starring African American men.  While we watched Magic Johnson's son EJ openly embrace being "outed" by the media, we've also seen the flipside as NFL free agent Kerry Rhodes refuted his "outing" despite a growing amount of "evidence" to suggest the contrary.  And we've also seen Sen. Kelvin Atkinson of Nevada come "out" during "gay marriage" talks on the floor of the state senate.  Now...enter Washington Wizards baller James Collins. 

Everyone was tipped of during the midst of the EJ vs. Kerry "outings" that there would be at least four professional athletes coming out over the next few months and surprise surprise.....it's a "brother" leading the way.

It's only fitting that at the opening of his emotional letter to SI, James, who's now a free agent in the NBA, addresses himself first as an athlete, then by his race, and lastly...by his sexual preference.  And here in America...you already know which category will be his "lead" for the rest of his life....and he's fine with that. 

In his letter, readers unfamiliar with James will learn a lot about his life, including that he has a twin brother Jarron (who also played in the NBA) and random fact-- actor Jason Segal was his backup during their high school days at Harvard-Westlake in Cali

But what's most interesting is how the Boston Marathon bombing played a role in his decision to live his truth.

He wrote in Sports Illustrated:

 

I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay.

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.

I've played for six pro teams and have appeared in two NBA Finals. Ever heard of a parlor game called Three Degrees of Jason Collins? If you're in the league, and I haven't been your teammate, I surely have been one of your teammates' teammates. Or one of your teammates' teammates' teammates.

Now I'm a free agent, literally and figuratively. I've reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.

Why am I coming out now? Well, I started thinking about this in 2011 during the NBA player lockout. I'm a creature of routine. When the regular season ends I immediately dedicate myself to getting game ready for the opener of the next campaign in the fall. But the lockout wreaked havoc on my habits and forced me to confront who I really am and what I really want. With the season delayed, I trained and worked out. But I lacked the distraction that basketball had always provided.

The first relative I came out to was my aunt Teri, a superior court judge in San Francisco. Her reaction surprised me. "I've known you were gay for years," she said. From that moment on I was comfortable in my own skin. In her presence I ignored my censor button for the first time. She gave me support. The relief I felt was a sweet release. Imagine you're in the oven, baking. Some of us know and accept our sexuality right away and some need more time to cook. I should know -- I baked for 33 years.

When I was younger I dated women. I even got engaged. I thought I had to live a certain way. I thought I needed to marry a woman and raise kids with her. I kept telling myself the sky was red, but I always knew it was blue.

I realized I needed to go public when Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford and now a Massachusetts congressman, told me he had just marched in Boston's 2012 Gay Pride Parade. I'm seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had done filled me with envy. I was proud of him for participating but angry that as a closeted gay man I couldn't even cheer my straight friend on as a spectator. If I'd been questioned, I would have concocted half truths. What a shame to have to lie at a celebration of pride. I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding. I want to take a stand and say, "Me, too."

 

The NBA Commissioner David Stern and others have already written statements of support.  NBA champ Kobe Bryant tweeted today:

Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don't suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU

Read the full letter here.  Congrats to Jason on not being afraid to be HIM. 

Categories:

Comments

WANT YOUR OWN AVATAR? GET IT HERE.

I feel it would have been

I feel it would have been better if he would have came out the closet when he was younger and in the mist of a multi-million dollar contract with the NBA instead of waiting until his contract is about up...by now he has saved up alot of money...so there is little risk career-wise now.....reminds me of the "has-been athletes"...who waited until their careers were over...not much risk.....but I'm glad he didn't wait until he was a complete "has been" in sports like some other former athletes have done in the past.
Atlanta_Entertainment_Watchdog's picture

Every time the white man

Every time the white man needs a mascot for some social change, there is always a greedy dumb negro volunteering to get the few pennies thrown his way. chris brown takedown was ONLY about a push to stop white boys from victimizing white girls. They didn't give a sh8t about that ignorant rihanna. It was only about whites boys and white girls fighting against each other, but God sent Travis murder and Jody Arias to avenge the victimization of Chris Brown. Then we have the very ignorant Magic Johnson jumping up to be the face of AIDS, stigmatizing the entire black community. And now we have this fool encouraging BLACK boys to embrace gayness and give up on their manhood. Pathetic. I hope he rots in hell for encouraging our boys to be a nasty booty bugger who plays with sh8t and gets a disease from it.
cassandra29's picture

you sound ignorant as a dirty

you sound ignorant as a dirty brillo pad. I have never real such insanity. God sent? I sometimes can't believe such backwards thinking. What is this 1522?
RustyCorliss's picture

All the scaredy cats in the

All the scaredy cats in the game are going to regret not raising their hands first. He is going to get so much shine and respect for his courage.....you already know that's going to turn into some endorsement money. I don't understand why everyone is so upset.....God's going to repair the rightful order of the world anyway. Let gay people worry about their souls and you worry about yours.
PinkyDaGoddess's picture

Ladies check out

Ladies check out www.KarensClosetNY.com for fierce blazers, hot tops, leggings, shoes, jewelry, plus sizes and of course DRESSES!
Kcny's picture

Gosh i just wish everyone who

Gosh i just wish everyone who is gay would just come out! Stop being scared. Its 2013!! You got politicians, athletes, musicians and entertainers coming out left and right. If they can do it so can you. Please stop hiding such a severe secret. Its so unfair to the millions of women probably sleeping with you, in relationships, and having babies with you. It affects others when you lie. Be who you are and stop hiding this shit. I dont know if its just me, but okay your gay. Big woop. So are dozens of others of people. We all still gota go to work in the morning, pay bills etc. its just more important things in the world then wheter someone is gay. But i know there are still people who are uncomfortable with it. Get over it. Lets move on, and make this as normal as possible so they can stop lying about who they are!
Supermodel01's picture

If everyone were gay the

If everyone were gay the population would be zero. There's a reason for that.
cutethatsall56's picture

Jesus wishes all men were gay

Jesus wishes all men were gay guys (leaves more bitches for me)
Jesus H. Christ's picture

The comments here are just

The comments here are just mind blowing - I am a straight black woman and I can't believe that people don't get why its important for a black athlete to come out of the closet. Are you aware that because of discrimination and hate, many gay black men choose to stay in the closet; many (including athletes) choose to be in relationships with women, while engaging in down low relationships with men; many in the black community are becoming infected with STDs because of unsafe sexual practices, compounded by instances of a DL lifestyle. Stop the hate, let men like Jason be free to be who they are and these issues will slowly become less of a problem for the black community. If you don't get why its important for gays in sport and black gays in particular to come out, then perhaps you live in a closet too.
DC Chica's picture

you are right but you are

you are right but you are casting your pearls before swine. like chris rock said, "niggas LOVE to NOT know shit".
shuga's picture

YOUNG BOYS IDIOLIZE ATHLETES

YOUNG BOYS IDIOLIZE ATHLETES AND WANT TO BE JUST LIKE THEM, AND YOU STILL THINK IT IS A GOOD IDEA FOR HIM TO PUT HIS NASTY BOOTY BUGGING SH8TTY LIFESTYLE ON BLAST FOR OUR CHILDREN TO IMITATE.
cassandra29's picture

INTERESTING how all the

INTERESTING how all the females are saying "Who cares?" about this guy being gay. It is very interesting how all the females are making comments as though it is no big deal. YET, when it's an extremely gorgeous and hunky player like, say, Kerry Rhodes, then all the females get upset, bent out of shape, and talk so much sh!t. Very interesting indeed. Very interesting.
gray skies's picture

*rolls eyes* ok so now we all

*rolls eyes* ok so now we all know you like it up the dookie chute mr collins....who freakin cares?!? my goodness the media will treat anyone "coming out" as if they cured cancer. he coulda kept this foolishness to himself.
litebrite's picture

Mr Collins is a public

Mr Collins is a public figure, who stands to be denied career opportunities based on bigoted thoughts and an apparent yearning to follow a first century morality; particularly since he is now a free agent. This isn't Theater , Music or Television. Its the NBA where the atmosphere and tolerance toward anything outside of heterosexuality is close to zero. This is news because an estimated 43% of Gay Black Males have attempted or considered suicide for fear of humiliation and ridicule. How can so many of you be so intellectually dishonest??.

SUICIDE IS A LOT FASTER AND

SUICIDE IS A LOT FASTER AND CLEANER THAN PLAYING WITH A NEW MAN'S SH8TTY AZZHOLE EVERY WEEK AND GETTING AIDS, AND DIEING LOOK LIKE A SKELETON WARMED OVER, AND BEING A BURDEN ON YOUR LOVED ONES WHO HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR SELF INFLICTED STUPIDITY. ONE SCRATCH TO THE BUTT HOLE, ALLOWS PURE BACTERIA FILLED SH8T INTO YOUR BLOOD STREAM, WHERE IT BECOMES TOXIC.
cassandra29's picture

Sorry to bust your bubble,

Sorry to bust your bubble, but although your statistics may be accurate, and it's sad that people no matter their lot in life commits suicide; I seriously doubt the media is using athletes coming out as a way to bring attention to the suicide rates of black men. This is nothing more than salacious entertainment headline, at the end of the day. Celebrities can attach their names to causes , but celebrity does not bring attention to a particular issue. The public outcry does. The media wants us to believe that because a celebrity comes out, it will bring forth a realization that being anti-gay is wrong. All this is , is a domino effect. This is the media's It story now, just like bullying in schools, it's a trend, soon there will be another trend issue that everyone is behind. I, just think instead of pushing the majority of athletes to change their beliefs, I'd say everyone stay in the closet, gay, straight,bi, just focus on the game.

Wow! Just wow.

Wow! Just wow.
Suga Bear's picture

If one chooses to sure. I've

If one chooses to sure. I've no problem with that, feeling as if you have too stay closeted is what is at stake here. He led a rare life as a pro baller, Mr Collins just so happens to be gay and proclaiming this can empower and strengthen a young person . Why should he or anyone else for that matter have to live a lie ?

Mr??? I think you mean

Mr??? I think you mean Miss BECAUSE YOUNG HETERO BOYS IDIOLIZE ATHLETES FOOL. THEY WANT TO WEAR THE SAME HAIR, THE CLOTHES, ETC.
cassandra29's picture

Sorry to bust your bubble,

Sorry to bust your bubble, but although your statistics may be accurate, and it's sad that people no matter their lot in life commits suicide; I seriously doubt the media is using athletes coming out as a way to bring attention to the suicide rates of black men. This is nothing more than salacious entertainment headline, at the end of the day. Celebrities can attach their names to causes , but celebrity does not bring attention to a particular issue. The public outcry does. The media wants us to believe that because a celebrity comes out, it will bring forth a realization that being anti-gay is wrong. All this is , is a domino effect. This is the media's It story now, just like bullying in schools, it's a trend, soon there will be another trend issue that everyone is behind. I, just think instead of pushing the majority of athletes to change their beliefs, I'd say everyone stay in the closet, gay, straight,bi, just focus on the game.

Men sexuality, "Manhood", is

Men sexuality, "Manhood", is the most important thing to them, and they will react when they feel that it's being threatened. Women can sit here, and complain about straight men attacking or vocally against players coming out, but put yourself in there posistion. They have to share very intimate quarters with each other, like showers, locker rooms, restrooms , and in football, contact is very close and personal. Now, from a straight man's posistion, he may not be homophobic, or even care, but the slightest mishap will cause controversy or tension. Instead of glorifiying these men for coming out, making them spokesmen for the "agenda", look at it from the straight man's posistion. You have to consider their feelings, point of views as well. I don't care how open society is towards homosexuality, you put grown men in a room , and one is openly gay, or presumed to be gay, there will be altercations. The majority of men , their masculinity is what makes them tick. I, think that the players that are coming out didn't consider their collegues beliefs. You see there are already athletes speaking out against gay players and homosexuality. But, knowing women who don't listen to men and their beliefs, will attack my statements and men who are against players coming out. Trust and believe, there will be an increase in locker room fights, altercations because of this.

every gay man isnt interested

every gay man isnt interested in having sex with every other man on earth. every lesbian woman isnt interested in having sex with every other woman on earth. he has BEEN in the locker rooms for years without incident.
shuga's picture

RIHANNA GOES TO A DIFFERENT

RIHANNA GOES TO A DIFFERENT STRIP CLUB EVERY NIGHT, AND SPENDS ALL HER TIME STALKING CIARA, AND PLAYING WITH MELISSA.
cassandra29's picture

But wont he look gay himself

But wont he look gay himself or homophobic for attacking the only gay dude in the room? I mean the fact is tou associate with those in which you share a common interest. If the staright dudes in the locker room feel they have nothing in common with him, just dont associate with him. Im sure he will have his own gay friends too. I mean they can still be professional. Its not like hes gona be hitting on his teammates. That would be unprofessional.
Supermodel01's picture

I bet the female that he was

I bet the female that he was once engaged to is somewhere thanking God that the engagement was terminated. Talking about dodging a bullet. This is not something that you want to hear about on your 10th wedding anniversary. Just saying...
SpeakingMyMind's picture

(smh and rolling my eyes)I'm

(smh and rolling my eyes)I'm so sick of the gay topic, I don't know what to do and i'm also sick of the fact that people act like gay intolerance is a "BLACK" thing. That shit bugs the hell out of me. Always pointing the finger at us about one thing or another. smdh.....
Ms.Thangfromthe5thflr's picture

I have never heard of this

I have never heard of this guy; however I will say that it is no one's business who is in his bed. Why do people feel the need to announce whom they're intimate with (i.e. male/female)? I'm a female. I LOVE men but I don't need to be on the cover of a magazine announcing it. Who really cares?
SpeakingMyMind's picture

I agree. Gays should just

I agree. Gays should just live their lives and give the middle finger to anybody that has a problem with it. They don't have to meet other peoples approval, yet it's as though they don't know that . . . so they keep telling everybody they're gay. Like you said, "Who really cares?"
jgraves58's picture

Why do Black Americans pick

Why do Black Americans pick and choose which scriptures in the Bible they want to live by?
CLS1986's picture

Everyone does that, not just

Everyone does that, not just blacks.
Suga Bear's picture

I hate that this is such a

I hate that this is such a story. He's gay...and?? People...there are gays among us. They've always been around...nothing new here folks keep it moving. Someone being gay shouldn't be this sensationalized. That the idea of "coming out" is considered an important milestone in a gay person's life...and it really shouldn't be. Let these people just be who they are, let them live how they want to and let them love/smash who they want to (as long as no one gets hurt). Stop making "gay" an issue...it's not. There are way more pressing issues that plague us as a society.
AnoniNYC12's picture

If you think being gay is a

If you think being gay is a choice, you're considering it! I salute you, Jason Collins.
CLS1986's picture

Christianity isn't the only

Christianity isn't the only religion that frowns upon homosexuality. There are many others that teach the same. Procreation is natural. Anything outside of that, IS NOT!!
jdotty's picture

Not everyone is religious

Not everyone is religious just as not everyone is straight. Just as not everyone is black or white. People have always been and will forever be...different. The sooner we realize this, the sooner the world can move on.
TrueThinker's picture

You can't move on from the

You can't move on from the fact that two men or two women can't create life. However, I was born black, just as other were born white. It hasn't been scientifically proven that anyone was born as a homosexual. Please don't compare the two because they are INDEED different. Homosexuality is no more than a choice in who you choose to sleep with.
jdotty's picture

There are so many

There are so many ridiculously flamboyant gay men and extremely masculine females in existence who have been the brunt of every joke, and abused physically and mentally for you to comprehend that they do not simply choose that lifestyle. There might not be any particular evidence of this "hormonal shift" but it is quite clear they don't choose it. Gays have come from ALL backgrounds, from the picture perfect family to the extreme broken ones. One does not simply wake up and decide to lay with someone of the same sex unless he or she is bisexual to some extent. And yes. You can move on, because the human race does not rely on the gay population. They are but a fraction. Giving them rights and respect is just human decency. It still boggles the mind that you have to explain this to blacks.
TrueThinker's picture

There is absolutely no way

There is absolutely no way that you could make such claims without doing a substantial amount of research (I'm guessing that you have not.) As I've stated, it hasn't been proven, therefore it holds no truth. Until either of you can prove that, you are just talking. You don't deserve to be mistreated because of who you choose to sleep with, but you don't deserve "favor" for it either. When you put it out there that you are gay and your job requires you to be in close quarters with those who aren't (naked), why shouldn't they have the right to disagree. He likes to sleep with men. The majority of his teammates do not. I'm done with the topic. Be as gay as you would like, just understand that most will not accept what isn't natural. Don't believe me? Look into the health problem caused by anal sex between two men (and not the biased info that states all gay men have AIDS or that the disease derives from them. Google doesn't count.). However, you are more prone to the virus through anal sex (this is for men and women).
jdotty's picture

Science hasn't proved either

Science hasn't proved either way but evidence STRONGLY supports and points to a biological base to ones sexuality. Assuming your head is buried in a bible. Have you considered reading scientific journals on the subject. Real world evidence as opposed to supernatural, unsubstantiated claims.

I'll disregard the bible

I'll disregard the bible comment and take a wild guess that you are gay. That's fine. However, reply with facts or literature that proves that homosexuals can join and naturally a life will come through either of them. You can't. You can't change that, you can't disagree nor can you deny that's it the REALEST, PUREST, MOST BEAUTIFUL moment in which any of us can have the pleasure of witnessing. You can be angry about it, because it will NEVER happen for you or your partner without the assistance of a woman, but that won't change what it is. If you aren't a homosexual, I apologize for assuming.
jdotty's picture

My argument has nothing to do

My argument has nothing to do with two people of the same sex producing children . I posit that sexuality if anything is genetic. Further; people couple for various reasons. Are you implying that procreation is the only reason to do so? Yes , the creation of life and subsequent birth is a lovely thing , but not everyone straight or gay wants that. My disapproval stems from excessively critical straight people who claim to know the thoughts and desires of those not like them for purely theological reasons.

My argument has everything to

My argument has everything to do with procreation!! An intimate relationship without the possible outcome of a child is unnatural. And you keep referring to "theology" and the "Bible". Because someone does not agree with homosexuality, does not mean that they are "critical straight people who claim to know the thoughts and desires of those not like them for purely theological reasons"". Once again, that is an personal opinion (no merit or substance, just your opinion!!) And for the record, SEXUALITY IS NOT GENETIC!! This may be your wish or explanation for your behavior, but you don't have any proof worth publishing and anyone reading.Goodbye.
jdotty's picture

@jdotty, Nor has it been

@jdotty, Nor has it been scientifically unproven. I don't think a person can study and scientifically explain homosexuality. Only gays know why they're gay. If a gay person says they were born gay, that's good enough for me, I wouldn't embrace some scientific view that it's a choice. Scientific discovery is perpetual, meaning science has been proven wrong all throughout different periods in history.
jgraves58's picture

What's good enough for you,

What's good enough for you, may not be for others. Being that you and I have never witnessed a child being born due to the intimacy of two women or men is SCIENCE enough!! This science has not been proven wrong throughout history. Get it?
jdotty's picture

@jdotty, I'm not talking

@jdotty, I'm not talking about procreation, I'm talking about your belief that science can in someway define whether or not a person chooses homosexuality or is born that way. Science has never locked down the reasons for certain human behavior and it never will.
jgraves58's picture

It is not my belief. It is

It is not my belief. It is the truth. You speak on what others may suggest, but not once have you given any literature in which I can read to PROVE otherwise. Why? Because I, along with many others, have searched for this proof already and to no avail. If it cannot be proven that they are born that way, all that is left is CHOICE!!
jdotty's picture

I find it disturbing that

I find it disturbing that some black people are so insecure about their status in society. The reasoning -- flawed and outdated-- that with each disenfranchised group that demands its civil rights is a slap in the face or peg down to the black agenda (a 1950s coined phrase). No one should have to argue themselves. When god made you, god made you. God didn’t consult the Bible to remember the recipe. It’s all God. Religion is nothing but a societal bullying system to maintain the masses for political and industrial reasons. It’s the slave’s chains. Every gay person needs to come out. Every gay person needs to sit at those tables like the NC “Sit-ins.” They need to march it in the streets like March on Washington. They need to burn their bras. Have hunger strikes like the Gandhi movement until it’s so nauseating and overexposed it becomes not only integrated into society but society. And each and every time they need to be on the cover of major magazines, tv shows, the channel five news, given praise by the President of the United States and applauded and booed until the applause is louder than the ignorance and hate. It was always inevitable. Don't be mad.
RustyCorliss's picture

Weak! If everyone were gay

Weak! If everyone were gay the population would be zero. There's a reason for that.
cutethatsall56's picture

he's the first male american

he's the first male american athlete YBF don't make that mistake ... several women are homosexual in the WNBA, Brittney Griner publicized her sexuality earlier this month
PleaseTakeaSeat's picture

I always knew he had holes in

I always knew he had holes in his game

I could not care less about

I could not care less about his sexuality. I don't even know who the fuck he is.
BEEMA SUX DIX's picture

Log in to post a new comment

Log in to post a new comment

register
Sign in with Facebook