NBA Player Jason Collins Announces That He’s Gay

Jason Collins, a center for the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards, has just become the first athlete in a “major American team sport” to come out as gay:

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.

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?

Some people insist they’ve never met a gay person. But Three Degrees of Jason Collins dictates that no NBA player can claim that anymore. Pro basketball is a family. And pretty much every family I know has a brother, sister or cousin who’s gay. In the brotherhood of the NBA, I just happen to be the one who’s out.

Let’s hope this is only he first of many professional athletes who have kept their orientations hidden for so long.

Cue an outcry from the Christian Right for no apparent reason (“He’s no role model!”) in 5… 4… 3…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • dorcheat

    I suppose players from the NFL, NHL, and MLB will be next. What will really make news is a NASCAR race car driver announcing they are gay!

    • The Captain

      You mean other than NASCAR fans just yelling “you’re gay”at Jeff Gordon?

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        I suspect that’s not the exact terminology most NASCAR fans prefer, but the general point is probably correct.

    • Spuddie

      DO NASCAR drivers even have locker rooms?

  • LesterBallard

    Never heard of him, I don’t really follow the NBA anymore, but it’s a start.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesus.gomez.9822 Jesus Gomez

    “Cue an outcry from the Christian Right.”

    No mention of Muslims, Jews, or homophobic atheists.

    Hemant Mehta just hates Christians.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      When those groups say something nasty about this, let me know and I’ll call them out on it.

    • OverlappingMagisteria

      Hemant lives in the US and writes for a US audience. The outcry against gays in this country is overwhelmingly from Christians, since the Jewish and Muslim population is tiny. If you explore this site you can easily find criticisms of other religions as well.

    • allein

      No, it’s just that history indicates that the Christian Right mouthpieces are the most likely to say something stupid.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Here I took this as sarcasm and thought everyone else’s sarcasm meters were broken. Checking Jesus’s profile, I guess I’m the one who’ naive.

      • Pepe

        His name IS Jesus!

        • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

          So, lunch on this guy then. Everyone for fish sandwiches?

          • allein

            I don’t like fish. Can I get some fig newtons or something?

            • ~SoACTing

              How about some magic mushrooms…woops, I mean Manna?? (A gift from heaven above) :-)

              For me, I can go for some fish tacos!

              ~ SoACTing

    • Sven2547

      Given that the staggering majority of the anti-gay reactionary crowd in the US is the “Christian Right”, I think Hemant’s remarks are fine. Do you deny it?

    • LesterBallard

      The political and social power of Muslims, Jews, and “homophobic atheists” combined doesn’t equal that of Christians, so eat shit.

      • http://twitter.com/CaryOkeigh Cary O’Keigh

        That’s the funniest joke I’ve heard all day. Jews have far more political power now than Christians. Brillianlty concocted many holocaust myths and then bludgeoning us to death with your polical correctness and special interest lobby pressure groups. Jews are 20 times more likely to get into Harvard in the current ziocracy. They cheat every which way to get in then get caught cheating once in because they can’t keep up. But since they dominate most industry

        • LesterBallard

          Try the heavy duty foil for your wrapping.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          You forgot to mention that, related to this story, they’re better basketball players because their natural stinginess makes them good at rebounds.

          (That was an actual claim at the turn of the century)

    • RobMcCune

      Do you have links to any of the groups you mention reacting to the news?

    • Randay

      Why didn’t Gawd send the tornado through Washington D.C.? Besides a homosexual on the basketball team, there are closeted gays in the government and sin, er, I mean corruption is rampant as well. Gawd could have selected some lobbyists’ homes in particular.

  • decathelite

    This makes him the third gay wizard after Gandalf and Dumbledore.

    /ba dum ch

    • Sven2547

      I am totally stealing this joke.

    • Tweekus

      Two bass drums and a cymbal fall off a cliff.

      Good for him. Here’s hoping there are more people like him.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace tweeted: “All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH (shakin’ my head) …”

    He deleted it about a half out later and replaced it with: “Never said anything was right or wrong I just said I don’t understand!! Deeply sorry for anyone that I offended.”
    Didn’t take long for some dumb ass to insert his foot.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Okay.

  • sunburned

    I really think it’s sad that in 2013 this is news. It’s a dismal state of affairs when people are forced to hide who they are (or who they want to be) because the public at large can’t be content with the idea that people find happiness in different ways and form than themselves or the majority in general.

  • Vision_From_Afar

    Cue an outcry from the Christian Right for no apparent reason (“He’s no role model!”) in 5… 4… 3…

    2..1.. And it’s BRYAN FICHER first out of the gate, he’s got an early lead on the competition with an illogical straw-man and a deft “It’s all about the sex” fear-mongering. It’ll be a close race, but I think he’ll take the ribbon in this one…

    Unfortunately, a random spectator seems to have painted it like a rainbow!

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      And the angry Christian is in the lead! While Muslims, Jews, and homophobic atheists are still in the gate…

      The only question is, how many angry Christians will enter the race before anyone else does. if anyone else does.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson
      • Randay

        A couple of days ago an extreme right wing Christian shot himself dead in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He was 78 and in his suicide note he said one of his reasons was the “infamy” of the new French law passed by the socialist parliament legalizing same sex marriage and adoption. Is he the winner, or did he not pass the finish line? BTW, in response the Russian parliament is going to pass a law forbidding French homosexual couples from adopting Russian children.

  • Sparky

    Jason is the perfect man for this story in a thousand different ways. He comes from a wonderful family, highly educated, involved, smart, funny and engaged. He’s a wonderful man, regardless of sexuality and he’s also 7 feet tall and weighs 280 pounds, so go ahead and try him, bigots.

    • Sids

      Engaged? How’d he keep that under wraps? Or do you mean the other engaged?

  • JKPS

    Reporting from the Bible Belt (GA); a morning show wrote a FB post about it, saying “Amen!” and immediately queued up a LOT of angry people. One woman even asked if we would celebrate if someone came out as straight! One woman said Amen is something Jesus said and we shouldn’t use it in this circumstance (which was hilarious on multiple levels). Plenty of supportive comments, but not nearly enough. I’ve been responding to some of them and actually keeping my cool.


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