Long-time NBA center Jason Collins came out this morning, telling Sports Illustrated, in an exclusive story, that he is gay. He’s the first active male professional athlete in a major sport to openly admit such.
And it’s a revelation that is sure to rock the sports world for the next few days, with opinions, admiration and maybe even a bit of backlash sure to surface.
“If the guy’s happy, whatever he does, that’s cool with me,” Thunder star Kevin Durant said at Monday’s shootaround. “Jason Collins, playing against him, seems like a great guy. Never got the chance to know him. But if he’s happy, that’s cool. Nobody has any right to judge. He’s his own man. Makes his own decisions. As NBA players, it’s like a big group of guys, kind of like a brotherhood. I know I support him. Like I said, I don’t really know him, so whatever decision he makes is something he really thought was good for him. Nothing nobody else can say about him. As long as he’s happy, it’s cool.”
But despite the recent revelation, it’s a topic that many have discussed over the past few years, knowing full well that a gay athlete would eventually come out.
Thunder center Nick Collison even talked about the possibility last month, in an interview with TrueHoop TV. Interesting to look at his comments, given today’s news.
“I think at first there would be guys in the league who would have a problem with it,” Collison told the site. “But I do think that once people got over the initial news of one of their teammates being gay, I think guys would be fine with it.
“It’s the ignorance of not knowing someone,” Collison continued. “The fear of the unknown.”