Washington Wizards center Jason Collins has become the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. In the latest issue of Sports Illustrated magazine, Collins wrote:
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.
I don’t know too much about basketball culture, but I’m assuming this is a pretty big deal. The impact this will have on young people struggling with their sexuality will be immense, and Collins truly is a hero. At some point, major athletes coming out as gay won’t be a big deal. But for now it is, and Collins has pushed the gay rights movement another significant step forward.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.