So the first active member in team sports has finally come out of the closet. Stanford alum and journeyman NBA player Jason Collins finally got fed up with living a lie and announced he was gay, a truly courageous move on his part. Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo of the NFL have recently flitted around the issue, insinuating that someone, maybe several players in their league would soon come out. Is it coincidence that Ayanbadejo was released by the Ravens and the Vikings drafted a punter in the fifth round to compete with Kluwe? These players haven’t even come out as gay! And if they are, well Jason just beat you to the punch. In a Sports Illustrated article to hit newsstands on May 6th, Collins decided that with the recent events in Boston, now is as good a time as ever to declare his homosexuality. His twin brother Jarron was caught totally off guard but another family member says she’d known for quite some time.
An historic day, to be certain, but you have to ask what took so long? I heard the news a few hours ago and already it seems like a non-issue to me. We ALL know people that are gay, be it where we work, live or recreate. It’s no big deal in those settings so why should it be an issue in the world of sports? Could it be because these are testosterone-laden men competing on the ice, diamond, hardwood, or gridiron? Men that shower together, laugh and cry together in victory and defeat? Get over it! This might even cause a run on gays in team sports, making it almost cool or trendy to proudly announce to the world your alternative lifestyle. But that’s to be seen. Right now it’s Collins on the clock, the Jackie Robinson of the gay world. One day we’ll look back on this and wonder what all the hubbub was over. But not yet, it’s all too fresh. Team sports has its first active roster gay player and his name is Jason Collins. Let’s see how the sports world reacts.