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Jason Collins calls support since he came out “incredible”

Apr 30, 2013, 10:41 AM EDT

File photo of Washington Wizards' Jason Collins going to the basket against Chicago Bulls' Taj Gibson during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Chicago, Illinois Reuters

Veteran NBA center Jason Collins handled his coming out as gay very well — he wrote a thoughtful piece for Sports Illustrated where he talked about his history, his family and his hopes. Then he stayed out of the public spotlight the rest of the day and let the reaction flow in, letting his piece speak for itself.

But he went on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday and said the support he has received was incredible (as reported by the Associated Press).

“It’s incredible. Just try to live an honest, genuine life and the next thing you know you have the president calling you,” Collins said. “He was incredibly supportive and he was proud of me, said this not only affected my life but others going forward.”

“I think, I know, in my personal life, I’m ready and I think the country is ready for supporting an openly gay basketball player ,” Collins told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos….

“I hope that every player makes a decision that leads to their own happiness, whatever happiness that is in life,” Collins responded. “I know that I, right now, am the happiest that I’ve ever been in my life.”

And that’s what this should be about — an individual’s right to pursue happiness. We cherish that in the United States and so long as your choices don’t lead to harm to others, you’re given a wide berth to live the way you choose to live. And those choices shouldn’t impact where you get to work — if you’re one of the 450 best basketball players in the world, you should be on an NBA roster.

There are still people who wonder what is going to happen inside an NBA locker room with Collins in it. However, most players who said anything on Monday came out in support of him, and multiple coaches — including Golden State’s Mark Jackson, a preacher with more conservative vies on the issue — said that in the locker room there would not be an issue.

“From my teammates, I’m expecting support because that’s what I would do for my teammates,” Collins told ABC. “A team is like a family. The NBA is like a brotherhood. And I’m looking at it like we all support each other, on and off the court.”

  1. azarkhan - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Jason, don’t you get it? It’s not only the politically correct thing to do, but lemmings get to feel all good about themselves (“Look at me, I’m open minded!”). Besides, the intolerant Left will crucify anyone who dares to voice a different opinion. See what has happened to poor Chris Broussard.

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      I’m a far right conservative and this isn’t a matter of “opinion”. Jason Collins is gay. It’s not an opinion, or a lifestyle, it’s the way he is. Jason Collins was born gay, just like you were born a moron. Like people should be tolerant of the way you were born, you should be tolerant of the way he was born.

    • skids003 - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      I thought the left preached tolerance to all.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        The left only cares about tolerance if you agree with them. Then they become 100 times more bigoted, intolerant and resort to even more fiery retorts, name-calling, etc. than they (mostly erroneously) accuse others of doing.

  2. iamhoraceknight - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    This is great for Jason Collins and possibly the NBA, but the real progress will come when there can be a honest conversation. Anyone that doesn’t support Collins will probably be viewed as homo-phobic. Mike Wallace, tweeted, ” with all the beautiful women out here, why are guys messing with other guys?” He was getting bashed for that. Is he not allowed to ask a question? Does everyone have to support this announcement? …… I completely respect Jason Collins for his courage, but have little respect for anyone that isn’t willing to accept opposing views on the issue.

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      What kind of honest conversation is there? “Anyone that doesn’t support Collins will probably be viewed as homo-phobic” What else would they be? If you don’t support gays right to be gay, what are you if not homophobic?

    • bougin89 - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      I get what you are saying, but here is my take:

      I’m very much pro-1st amendment. We can agree or disagree all we want but I don’t think anyone has the right to deny anyone else the right to pursue happiness which is one of the principles our constitution was based upon. You may have your reasons to disagree with Jason Collins’ lifestyle and that’s fine, but don’t attempt to stop his right to pursue happiness because you have different personal, religious, or whatever opinions. We have a separation of religion(which is the majority reason for gay marriage bans) and state. Thank God for that. Eventually this country will evolve into a pro-gay marriage nation, at least in a legal sense and I support that.

    • andyhr17 - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:02 PM

      You think that Mike Wallace was simply “asking a question”?

  3. jeff6381 - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    People can’t have a different opinion these days if Lebron James said he doesn’t support this guy nor that lifestyle they would be coming for his head so a lot of these guys have no choice b/c society is trying to force everyone to accept that lifestyle.

    • bougin89 - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      I have to ask, who is trying to force everyone to accept “that” lifestyle?

      • readysethike - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        mainstream media?

      • andyhr17 - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        You should probably just keep watching your Fox News and live inside your bubble.

      • bougin89 - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:46 PM

        @andy

        Not sure you were trying to comment to me because it appears we have the same view on this.

        @ready

        Is mainstream media trying to make you change your sexual preference? I get that this is a huge issue and that everyone is talking about it…I asked my question above because of the word “force”. This issue is about whether or not we should accept people living a different lifestyle. Not forcing that lifestyle upon us…

      • bougin89 - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        And for anyone that doesn’t understand what I’m trying to say. I think I’ve made my point very clear that I support Jason Collins and am pro-gay marriage on these boards.

  4. irvness21 - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Ok he’s gay. Now can we get back to the playoff coverage please!!!!!!

  5. thejabronisayz - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    For the record, I support Jason Collins. But also for the record, I couldn’t care less one way or another whether he was gay, straight, black, white, or yellow. I don’t understand why there needs to be this media circus-type frenzy over congratulating someone for being gay. It is only perpetuating the notion that there’s something not-normal or different about the person, when we should all know and realize by now that there isn’t anything wrong with someone being gay.

    What also really, really irritates me about stories like this is basically what’s happening right now with Chris Broussard. If you watch his interview, he was ASKED what his personal opinion on the matter was, and he gave his personal opinion. So why is it NOT ok for him to do so? Why is it great and lauded and celebrated when someone says “I support the gay lifestyle,” but when someone else says “I support Jason Collins and commend him for his bravery, but I personally don’t agree with his lifestyle” – why is THAT sentiment being denounced as hate, as bigotry, as homophobia? It sounds like the media wants free speech and equal rights for all until it’s free speech they disagree with. Crucifying Broussard is just another example of media hypocrisy; they want tolerance and acceptance but they are intolerant towards another person’s innocent remarks.

    Bottom line – I don’t care, nor should you or anyone else care. Get back to talking about what we should be talking about: basketball. Nothing else.

  6. bux1022 - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    @oamhoraceknight

    That is the dumbest load of bull I have ever heard!!! Closet homophobe!

  7. bux1022 - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    You and mike Wallace should hang out. You dbag!

  8. iamhoraceknight - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    @bux1022….. If you’re going to call me names, at the very least, you could spell my name right. ….. And thank you for making my point. So I’m now a ” closet homo-phone” because I said people should be able to accept both sides of the equation? I have no issues with the LBGT agenda, it’s their business. I support the courageousness. My point was, that there would be no progress until an honest conversation could be had. And since you’ve already resorted to name calling, there is no progress in regards to you.

    • skids003 - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      He certainly did make your point. They are highly intolerant of those who don’t see their way, aren’t they? Libs, what a bunch of hypocrits.

  9. keninoregon - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    PBT: Jason Collins received support from players around the league, fans and even the president after revealing that he is gay.

    Obama revealed that he is gay? That figures!

  10. iamhoraceknight - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    @andyhr17 ….. I think Mike Wallace was voicing his opinion. Whether we agree with it or not, he has a right to voice his opinion, right? I support Jason Collins AND I don’t think The Wallace tweet was disrespectful. …. Two questions for you: 1. Anyone that doesn’t agree, automatically lives in a bubble? 2. Please hire a joke writer, Fox News jokes are tired. No One watches that channel.

    • skids003 - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      Actually, more watch Fox than NBC. NBC is a propaganda channel now, nothing more.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        skids you are right about NBC (can’t even voice your opinion on PFT about this without them deleting it, for instance).

      • andyhr17 - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:41 PM

        Wait, NBC is propaganda and Fox News is not?

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 30, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        FOX is just as bad, but don’t act like NBC isn’t on the extreme opposite of the spectrum. Just because you do not see it does not mean it is not so.

  11. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    People are only speaking up in “support” of him because they don’t want to lose their jobs and/or endorsements. Most are completely apathetic and want this agenda-pushing to stop, the rest are flat out lying. Very few even care enough to be that vocal in support.

    Why are people lauding him as some hero???

    • andyhr17 - Apr 30, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      I wouldn’t say a hero, but being the first to do something like that takes some balls. He knows what he’s opening himself up for. It’s not as if he’s Jackie Robinson/Larry Doby breaking the color barrier, or anything like that, but it’s probably the closest sports analogy there is.

      He’s not saying you have to accept him. He just said he’s gay. Everything that follows is just people’s opinions on it.

    • jacktheraven - Apr 30, 2013 at 4:13 PM

      I agree. I don’t care. Now, I’m going to called homophobic & ignorant.

      • Kurt Helin - May 6, 2013 at 10:42 PM

        You didn’t care enough to click on then comment on a story. So you do care, actually. If you didn’t you wouldn’t have bothered.

  12. rdav29 - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Is Jason Collins actually still good enough to be on a roster at his age and declining skills? If he’s not, he’s not.

    • iamhoraceknight - Apr 30, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      Jason Collins, apparently has been a great locker room presence, but his skill set is debatable. He avg’d less than 2 pts and 2 rebounds per game last year.

      • leothelyon - Apr 30, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        imagine what the coach is thinking now once this guy spilled his guts. No wonder why he only gets 2 points a game, he’s (Collins) is likely turned on to from running up and down court with real men.

      • erckle31 - Apr 30, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        Are kidding me? Why don’t you actually watch his tape, there’s more to basketball than stats. There’s always someone that has to set the picks, to give hard fouls, and to provide leadership. If he’s not a real man, than how did he spend 12 years in the league? People really underestimate the power of a great individual in the locker room. Look at Juwan Howard, he provides very little on the court, but there’s a reason why the Heat signed him this season. I can’t stand how ignorant your comment is. Not agreeing with someone’s lifestyle is one thing, but that should never be a factor in whether or not he is given an opportunity to play.

      • iamhoraceknight - May 14, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        Apparently, you didn’t read my comment. Great Locker room guys are the ones that Sacrifice for the team and lead by example. Great Practice players and step up when called.

      • andyhr17 - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:34 PM

        leothelyon, once you get a firm grasp of the English language I’ll argue with you. Until then, go play in traffic.

      • kavika6 - May 1, 2013 at 4:02 AM

        I’ve been expecting some jokes about his “locker room presence”, but I don’t see anything malicious about your comment rdav.

  13. bux1022 - Apr 30, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Once a dbag always a dbag!

  14. bux1022 - Apr 30, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    @hoknight

    Didn’t know you made a point. Sounded like a bunch of bs as I previously mentioned!

  15. deavn - Apr 30, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    You people don’t understand. It’s not about not accepting someone’s lifestyle. You don’t have to agree with someone to respect their right to do what they want. If a man wants to sleep with a man, who are we to tell them that they can’t? It’s their lifestyle. And if you think your religious book is a source of morality and it says that you can bash gay people, you have freedom of speech, but you are just as immoral as the god you worship. That’s ignorant.

  16. gcclark98 - Apr 30, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    I’m up for everyone being who they are…. There are logistics to work out…. For instance how are players in the locker room going to react to another guy looking at their junk….and not the way a strait guy sees another guy….it’s Just gonna take some time….. And would wnba players be comfortable with a bunch of men in there locker room? I’m all for coming out…. Just not sure about the logistics….. Maybe just individual shower rooms?

    • andyhr17 - Apr 30, 2013 at 8:37 PM

      you really think being gay means that you’re a sex monster just dying to stare at a guys’ junk? Like, he’s not going to be able to control himself in the shower, get a massive hard-on, and try to pull a Jerry Sandusky on a guy? Are people as dumb as you are?

    • kavika6 - May 1, 2013 at 4:51 AM

      Can’t be worse than female reporters invading their privacy.

  17. rehmer2389 - Apr 30, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Jackie Robinson?

    • jimsjam33 - Apr 30, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      No , more like Rue Paul !

      Don’t denegrade the accomplishments of Jackie Robinson . That was a civil rights matter . The man was a national hero and treasure .

  18. southpaw77 - Apr 30, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Haha! Of course its positive, anyone saying otherwise is crucified at the stake.

    Thats like Saddam saying he got 100% of the vote, of course he did, because anyone who didnt go with him was killed.

    Moral of the story, only one side is allowed to speak, the other side will be classified as homophobes, bigots and close-minded.
    Collins is not Jackie Robinson as much as the media tries to make us believe he broke some barrier, heck a week earlier Britney Greiner came out as a lesbian but, that got no coverage and she’s a better player in her league and just starting out.

    • Kurt Helin - May 6, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      Greiner did get a fair amount of coverage, but a woman coming out in professional sports was not groundbreaking. Collins was. And certainly the response to Collins was not universally positive, but it was much more so than even six years ago. That speaks to a change in culture worth noting. And if you come out opposed to a gay man saying so, well, the rest of us can decide what that says about you as a person.

  19. ne1935 - Apr 30, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Will be on the Ellen show soon. Why not go for it?

  20. nelspetersen - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Why is it so effing wrong to have an opinion nowadays? Even if you disagree with Mike Wallace or this guy’s statements it doesn’t mean they should be chastised by their teams for saying whatever the hell they want to because a little thing called the first amendment gives everybody the right to do so.

    • Kurt Helin - May 1, 2013 at 3:40 AM

      The First Amendment gives you the right to speak your mind, however it does not absolve you of the consequences from what you say.

  21. kavika6 - May 1, 2013 at 3:54 AM

    I have nothing against Jason Collins but I’m getting a little tired of the headlines. This is the playoffs and 1/2 of the new articles are about him. I didn’t even know he was still active in the NBA.

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