NBA player Jason Collins: 'I knew I was walking road less travelled, but I am not walking it alone' -

NBA player Jason Collins: ‘I knew I was walking road less travelled, but I am not walking it alone’

Players, politicians and fans respond to player’s announcement


Reactions to Jason Collins, NBA’s first active openly gay player

Storified by Maclean’s Magazine· Tue, Apr 30 2013 04:04:22

Jason Collins is gay. Normally, this wouldn’t be big news in 2013, except that Collins is professional basketball player. His essay in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated talks about him playing for so many teams during his 12 years in the NBA, that many pro basketball players have had a gay teammate. (Please read it.) The news made waves all day on Monday, as no other athlete in football, basketball, hockey or baseball has announced they were gay while still an active player.
SI cover-Jason Collins as 1st openly gay male athlete active in a major US pro sport Backstory…Grant Wahl
Retweet to congratulate #NBA’s Jason Collins @jasoncollins34 for making history!…
In the article, Collins writes: “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.”

After trending for a full day on Twitter, the 7-foot centre knows many stand with him.

All the support I have received today is truly inspirational. I knew that I was choosing the road less traveled but I’m not walking it aloneJason Collins
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me thru email, texts, calls, tweets, letters, and every other form of communication. #supportJason Collins
One thing people wondered was how the NBA community would react to the news. From the looks of it on Twitter, Collins has no shortage of support.
The time has come. Maximum respect. RT @Baron_Davis: I am so proud of my bro @jasoncollins34 for being real. … Nash
Character is found in those who lead. I am so proud of my friend, Jason Collins, for showing all of us what leadership looks like. #way2goSHAQ
Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don’t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOUKobe Bryant
Proud to support my teammate and friend @jasoncollins34. Stay true to you!Emeka Okafor
Much respect to my teammate @jasoncollins34 for being #realGarrett Temple
Jason’s sexuality doesn’t change the fact that he is a great friend and was a great teammate. @jasoncollins34Jason Kidd
All my respect & support to JasonCollins. Thanks to his courage perhaps someday an athlete’s sexual preference will be irrelevant. Congrats.Manu Ginobili
Jason Collins showed a lot of courage today and I respect him for taking a stand and choosing to live in his truth. #nbafamilyWay of WADE
Jason Collins has announced that he is gay. I know Jason and his family well and I support him 100%.Earvin Magic Johnson
Two athletes Collins credits in his article are NFL players Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe, both straight male athletes who are big proponents of changing the culture of accepting homosexuality in locker rooms.
Big kudos to @JasonCollins34. Living proof that your sexuality has nothing to do with your athletic ability. #saluteChris Kluwe
All these black folks talking about the bible. That’s the same book that was used to make you a slave.Brendon Ayanbadejo
By @jasoncollins34 opening doors & doing it his way on his time he has helped shape a more accepting America. May many more follow #courageBrendon Ayanbadejo
Collins is not the first athlete to announce he is gay, but so few do so while they are still playing. Former basketball player John Amaechi came out after retirement. Robbie Rogers retired earlier this year from pro soccer at the age of 25 after coming out as gay, fearful of how his teammates would react.

One active gay athlete is Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz, who told the world he was gay last year and subsequently won his first fight afterwards. For a an active player in a major American team sport, however, Collins is the first.

Congratulations to Jason – sport couldn’t hope for a more eloquent & positive role model: Amaechi OBE
I feel a movement coming.Robbie Rogers
Stand with @JasonCollins34, the first openly gay NBA player. Sign this statement of support: Navratilova
I am thrilled @JasonCollins34 was able to come out on his own terms and, as he put it, is ready to continue (cont) Jean King
I’m off to bed, big smile on my face… there are truly good & kind people in the world after all…John Amaechi OBE
From the rest of the sporting world, athletes were supporting Collins in droves.
I would like to pledge my support to Jason Collins, and hope someday that we only get judged by our accomplishments.Barry Sanders
Happy for Collins. Cool to see the support he is getting. #gayokHal Gill
I will always support people for being who they are. Happy for @jasoncollins34 that he can lead an honest life.Nick Swisher
. Props! @jasoncollins34andyroddick
So proud of @jasoncollins34 for having the courage to stand up and out for who he is. I support, respect and salute you!!Michael Strahan
Good for Jason Collins. I’d be proud to call him a teammate if I played in the NBAAaron Crow
We salute you, @jasoncollins34 for your courage and leadership. Any time you want to throw out a first pitch at Fenway Park, let us know.Boston Red Sox
From the White House to Hollywood, the messages were the same.
So proud of you, Jason Collins! This is a huge step forward for our country. We’ve got your back! -moFLOTUS
I’m proud to call Jason Collins a friend. Clinton
Very proud of my friend Jason Collins for having the strength & courage to be the first openly gay player in the NBA. Clinton
.@jasoncollins34 Thank you for raising your hand. Your courage proves why every American deserves our respect, no matter who they love.Nancy Pelosi
Being real & authentic is very powerful. Well done Jason Collins for having the courage to take a monumental step forward. #LiveRealDwayne Johnson
Jason Collins. Bravo.Patrick Stewart
"@Flaker11: @SpikeLee what’s is your take on players announcing they are gay??? Jason Collins just did"Beautiful Thing. Be Yourself.Spike Lee
Thank you Jason Collins – for being the first one – knocking down doors !!!Rosie O’Donnell
Bravo, @JasonCollins34! Thanks for stepping up. For standing tall. And at 7 feet, that’s saying a lot.Neil Patrick Harris
And the last word goes to NHL star Dustin Penner.
Honestly I don’t care if you are gay or straight as my teammate. As long as you don’t listen to Nickelback. #courageDustin Penner

Filed under: