The Bravery of Jason Collins
I admire Jason Collins, the NBA center, who just came out.
He’s the first active player in major American sports to publicly say he’s gay, which is astonishing in and of itself –that it has taken this long!
But male athletics is an arena where gay slurs have been common for generations, even to this day, so it’s little wonder that gay male athletes have thought twice and three times about coming out before.
Collins’s poignant statement, which appears on the website of Sports Illustrated, explains that he “didn’t set out” to make history this way but since no one else stepped up to the plate, he decided to do so himself.
He said the Boston Marathon bombings played a part in the timing of his decision. It made him realize that “things can change in an instant so why not live truthfully.”
His statement is so powerful I’d like to quote a chunk of it:
“No one wants to live in fear. I've always been scared of saying the wrong thing. I don't sleep well. I never have. But each time I tell another person, I feel stronger and sleep a little more soundly. It takes an enormous amount of energy to guard such a big secret. I've endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie.”
Now Jason Collins no longer has endure that misery or live that lie.
And no other athletes should have to, either.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story Tsarnaev Brothers and Propaganda of the Deed.
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter
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