Jason Collins who played for the Boston Celtics this season, prior to being traded to the Washington Wizards for Jordan Crawford, has come out as a gay man in the upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated. Collins cited the recent NBA lockout, the Boston Marathon bombings and his old college roommate, Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy, as some of the reasons he decided to make the announcement now.
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. If I'd been questioned, I would have concocted half truths. What a shame to have to lie at a celebration of pride. I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding. I want to take a stand and say, "Me, too."
Collins also discussed wearing number 98 as a player. He wore the number in reference to 1998, the year Matthew Shepard was killed. Shepard’s murder is one of the best known acts of anti-gay violence in modern times.
Collins has played in the NBA since 2001. He has played for the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, and Washington Wizards.
Collins twin brother Jarron also played in the NBA.
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