Image via Jason Collins Twitter
Its official. Jason Collins is the first openly gay professional athlete in a major US sport. In a OpEd released online today and set to be printed in the May 6th issue of Sports Illustrated, Collins, center for the Washington Wizards, comes out as a gay man.
In the write-up, Collins discusses his lengthy and successful NBA career, including 9 play offs, two high school state championships, and trips to the NCAA Final Four. Collins says he’s coming out now after a delayed season left little to distract himself with. He said he came out to his aunt first, and her support helped him get to the point were he wanted to discuss it openly. In a debatably solid metaphor, Collins compared his coming out process to baking in an oven.
“Imagine you’re in the oven, baking. Some of us know and accept our sexuality right away and some need more time to cook. I should know — I baked for 33 years.”
In the 3 page post, Collins detailed other factors that have led him to this point. A college friend of his marching in a gay-pride parade to the sense of how quickly times change in relation to the Boston Marathon bombing, many events played a role into his decision to come out now.
Collins told his twin brother, Jarron, who also plays basketball, last summer. Considering the “telepathy” twins usually have, Jarron was still very surprised, but in the end, supportive, according to Collins.
Collins spoke about the irrationality of “living in fear” of being outted, going as far as to say,”The announcement should be mine to make, not TMZ’s.”
Collins’s most recent season with the Wizards has already ended, now a free agent which means he’s available to be signed, but not currently on a team, might be at the end of his career as is. The next chance he has to be signed is after the playoffs end and free agency begins July 1st.