First barrier broken. The first active professional athlete in a team sport to come out and say he's gay is now on the record.
In a detailed and amazing story in this weeks Sports Illustrated, long-time NBA Center Jason Collins told his story. He spoke about growing up and trying to adhere to what he believed society says he should have been and about his struggle with coming to grips with it.
It's a fascinating read.
You can read the whole thing RIGHT HERE
Collins says he doesn't need the publicity and doesn't necessarily want to be held up as a standard bearer. He says he just wanted to be honest with himself and let people judge him for who he is.
And who he is is this: Collins is a 12+year veteran of the NBA and has played for nearly a half dozen NBA teams. He has a twin brother whom he says "Never knew" until he told him less than a year ago. Not that it should matter. It shouldn't.
For all the talk of NFL players coming out, the fact is, it hasn't happened and we suspect if it did, those players would be quietly ostracized. We don't necessarily think the NBA will act the same way.
For all of it's odd behavior, entourage's, bling and other things, the NBA has been of all the Pro Sports, the most open minded about things.
Already there has been some talk that; "Okay, great, good for him, but Collins is a guy at the end of his career, does it matter that much?". It does, but it doesn't.
No, it may or may not extend his career, but we're guessing at this point Collins does not care. And really, it shouldn't matter.
Just the fact that he's an active player and did it is more the point. Someone had to do this.
We wish Mr. Collins the best and salute his courage. Despite what the religious right would have you believe, people are entitled to do, live, love and act in the best way THEY see fit. But in reality, there are way too many people who will ostracize him for doing what he should do. And those people should be ashamed of themselves. They say it's "Not god's will" but is it not part of that will to accept, love and respect people for who they are, not who you think they should be?
We'll get off our horse here, but we hope this is something that you'll think about. We live in a very polarized, very closed minded society these days, whether we want to admit it or not. And yet in spite of that, there are open minded people out there who don't see others as a label, a tag or a stereotype but rather what they are and hope to be.
And when it comes down to it, isn't that the way we are all supposed to live?