NBA Player Jason Collins Comes Out as Gay
May 13, 2013
NBA player Jason Collins has been in the media spotlight recently. No, he didn’t set a new record or perform a crazy dunk, but he did do something that nobody was expecting: come out as gay as an active player. The Washington Wizards center received support on Twitter, as teammates and other celebrities tweeted their support. Many former athletes have come out after they retired, but Collins was the first to bravely announce that he is gay publicly as a current player of one of the major league sports. For that, he deserves tremendous respect.
However, many argue whether or not this announcement was significant, as society has been pretty accepting toward the many celebrities that have already came out. I believe this is “big news” because he is still playing after he made his announcement, facing possible judgment and homophobia from fans and other athletes. He should actually be praised for his actions, as this could be one of the most significant things to happen in professional sports.
Sports are not always the best place for LGBTQ athletes. Coaches and players often insult each other with homophobic remarks. Therefore, many gay teens, even those interested in sports, may shy away from them or hide their sexual orientation, so they aren’t targeted. This shouldn’t be the case.
There aren’t a lot of gay pro-athletes that LGBTQ teens can look up to. Fortunately, Jason Collins is now one. Teens can now feel that sports are becoming more LGBTQ-friendly, which should be the case. I hope Collins can be a catalyst for future professional athletes to come out as LGBTQ or as allies, but we’ll have to wait and see. It looks like the first quarter just started. We’re going to have to watch as the game unfolds.