“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”
Those three sentences suddenly have cast veteran NBA player Jason Collins as a transcendent figure in the history of sports.
Granted, it likely was no secret that he’s black. As for gay, well that’s certainly a horse of a different color.
Collins now is the first openly gay athlete actively playing a major American team sport.
It says something about our society that it took so long for someone to stand up and pronounce who they truly are.
If you think Collins in the only openly gay athlete actively playing a major American team sport, you’ve been spending way too much time with your head in your catered lobster bisque.
“I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I’m different,’” Collins wrote in a Sports Illustrated cover story. “If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m my raising hand.”
The 7-foot, 255-pound Collins has been a strong, physical, team-oriented big man for a dozen NBA season, a relatively anonymous figure working in the trenches.
No longer. He’s now on center stage big time.
In a watershed declaration that obviously took balls, Collins really has taken one for the team.