NBA’s Jason Collins “I’m Black and Gay!”
NEXT WEEK in the May 6, 2013, issue of Sports Illustrated.
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 realized I needed to go public when Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at
Stanford and now a Massachusetts congressman, told me he had just
marched in Boston’s 2012 Gay Pride Parade. I’m seldom jealous of others,
but hearing what Joe had done filled me with envy. I was proud of him
for participating but angry that as a closeted gay man I couldn’t even
cheer my straight friend on as a spectator.