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Jason Collins says he’s been the target of gay taunts from another player since joining Nets

Mar 20, 2014, 7:46 PM EDT

Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Jason Collins has had a relatively quiet tenure since joining the Nets on Feb. 23, and that’s been viewed by almost everyone as a huge positive.

Collins became the NBA’s first openly gay active player once he inked consecutive 10-day contracts with Brooklyn, before being signed later to a deal that would have him on the roster to finish out the season.

It has been all business ever since, at least where the media has been concerned, as well as with Collins and his teammates. But he hasn’t gone unscathed in terms of at least one other player in the league attempting to use Collins’ openness against him.

From Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

From the moment he embarked down this trailblazing path, Jason Collins has said that he’d turn the other cheek when faced with ignorance, accepting that he can’t control the words and actions of idiots.

He was tested once during his first month with the Brooklyn Nets, although the NBA’s first openly gay player understandably doesn’t want to give attention to the “knucklehead” or his comments. … And Collins handled the negativity like he anticipated – with a silent disregard.

“One player, one knucklehead from another team,” Collins said in an interview with the Daily News. “He’s a knucklehead. So I just let it go. Again, that goes back to controlling what you can control. That’s how I conduct myself – just being professional.”

While Collins has been largely accepted without incident (as he absolutely should be), it honestly would have been more surprising had he not yet experienced a single incident like this.

The NBA is made up of players from widely divergent backgrounds, not to mention age groups that span from the teens to the late 30s. The fact that someone “went there” with Collins on the court is disgusting to be sure, but sadly, it couldn’t have possibly been completely unexpected.

It would be easy for Collins to out this person, so to speak, and make his life miserable. But the fact that he’s handling the incident in this way will only make it that much easier for others to follow his path, while letting “knuckleheads” like this one know that their simple-minded views will have nothing but the opposite of the desired effect.

  1. retxedfred - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:49 PM

    Garnett

    • mackcarrington - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:59 PM

      J.R. Smith

      • 00maltliquor - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:44 PM

        @ mack & retx

        Yo! I’m 100% serious when I tell you, Garnett’s name (despite him being on the same team) and JRs name came into my mind, in that order! Weird how those were the 1st 2 names mentioned, in same order! lol

        I wanna know who it was and what he said.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:43 AM

        Why would Garnett come to mind? He was pissed when the Celtics traded Collins last year and was one of the voices who pushed the Nets to sign him this year. Garnett respects the hell out of Collins.

    • gepsep - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      FYI, they are on the same team…

      • mackcarrington - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:12 PM

        Well then why in the article does it say “one knucklehead from another team’?

  2. RavenzGunnerz - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    Please shut up and play ball… if you can still play anyways.

    To me, it seems like this guy just wants to cause trouble so he can make news.

    • savvybynature - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      Except that he actually avoided causing trouble and the attention that would come with it by not outing the player.
      But hey, don’t let facts get in the way of your ignorance!

      • RavenzGunnerz - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:21 AM

        All I am saying is that this guy needs to shut up about his sexual orientation, which we don’t need to keep being reminded off… and just ball…

        If he can’t do that, then let some other player who can ball take his place. I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR anymore stories about his sexual orientation, I do not give a hoot about it.

        Peace!

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        Every time you click on a story about it you are saying you do care. If you didn’t you would be apathetic, glance at the headline and move on, but you don’t you choose to read the story and comment. So you care.

      • ozarkannie74 - Mar 21, 2014 at 9:48 AM

        If it’s the truth he is avoiding trouble, by not naming the player it could very well be a case of wanting to cause trouble?

    • Professor Fate - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      “…letting “knuckleheads” like this one know that their simple-minded views will have nothing but the opposite of the desired effect.”

      I was going to make some sort of comment about how idiots won’t change because they don’t know they’re idiots, but RavenzGunnerz did a much better job making that point.

    • nflcrimerankingscom - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:57 PM

      You’re so transparent.

  3. mcfleezy12 - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    Well to me, your an idiot. He answered a question without going into detail, so that the situation wouldnt get bigger than the game. Your problem is what again?

    • jackvcr - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:48 PM

      And you’re illiterate. “your an idiot”?
      Go back to 8th grade English, dummy.

      • adamsjohn714 - Mar 22, 2014 at 10:38 PM

        I’m also a grammar Nazi, so I appreciate the sentiment of correcting someone. It’s even better when they make a mistake while calling into question someone’s intelligence. However, true grammar Nazis learned the difference between your and you’re before 8th grade.

  4. unfly - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    Incoming media witchhunt to identify the player and excommunicate him from the league

  5. zickhead - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    Probably DeMarcus Cousions

    • ChocolateThunder - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      Lay off Boogie. He’s no gaybasher.

    • divan22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:23 AM

      Yup, my money’s on Cousins. Nets played the Kings on March 9th.

  6. seattlesuperchronic - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    RavenzGunnerz

    News and activism are not synonymous, guy. He’s championing a cause that means something to him and countless others. I respect someone who has the strength to put his or herself out there to be scrutinized for what they believe is right.

    • raidordie - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      Get 10 women in a room, make them watch THE NOTEBOOK, and tell them not to cry. Ain’t gonna happen. Get 10 athletic alpha male men, have them play a competitive fast paced game, with money, glory, and respect on the line and tell them not try to intimidate each other. Also, ain’t gonna happen

    • jerze2387 - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      well then, Gilbert Arenas was just championing the cause for the 2nd amendment back in washington.

  7. balfe13 - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Yeah, I don’t know about you all, but when I think “knucklehead” and NBA player, I’m thinking JR Smith. Especially since Arenas and Crittenton are out of the league. And I’m a Knicks fan.

  8. fearthehoody - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    The media just creamed their pants! Let the witch hunt begin!

  9. billtetley53 - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    FYI. Ravenz is a homophobe. This is the 3rd post he’s made the same type of comment on.

    Poor guy goes from six to midnight in his pants when he thinks of 2 men together, and it scares him.

    • kb2408 - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:08 PM

      Well, isn’t that “the pot calling the kettle black”!!

  10. pfic15 - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Get over it. Straight players are taunted as well.

    • theblackrook - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:33 PM

      What the puck part of what he said seems like he hasn’t got over it or even cares about. He answered the question.

      • pfic15 - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:00 PM

        Its the media, buddy. No problem with Collins, who took the high road.. Now “puck”off…

    • sw19womble - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:37 PM

      Yeah, being taunted for kissing a WOMAN. Bet that really puts a dude off his game standing at the free throw line. :)

  11. ringjames - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    It’s probably Chris Bosh lol

    • 00maltliquor - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:47 PM

      Yeah right! That’s probably the last player that would do that!

    • jerze2387 - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      Bosh would be more likely to hit on collins or grab his a$$ in the paint

  12. tomtravis76 - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    The plight of some intern of having to watch every minute that Jason Collins is on the court over his first month of games to see each interaction between Collins and another player. Well in due time we will have our player, and wait for his tearful public apology. Should a guy be on a team for being that dumb and clueless anyways? huge moment in sports history and this guy behaves exactly like the racist morons trying to keep black men out of sports.

    Welcome to the bullying world controversy of the nba court being a place of business, Adam silver.

    • theblackrook - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:34 PM

      This guy? What guy, Collins?

      • tomtravis76 - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:55 PM

        Not Collins, the mystery man.

        Collins has been on the nets roster for 13 games, three of those games he had zero minutes. So, most likely it’s down to 10 teams.

      • tomtravis76 - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:03 AM

        Vs Sacramento he played 20 minutes and vs Memphis he played 17 minutes. You might be able to narrow it down to a guy on either one of those rosters. But then again maybe not. One would think the more minutes in a game it would take to start yapping. But some guys get right after you to immediately try and get in someone’s head.

        Some of the foreign born players are not in stride with the pc state of America.

  13. pacers24 - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    hell Melo gets taunted by other players about banging his wife and her tasting like honey nut cheerios and we all laugh that off so im not sure what the big deal is here but ok great someone is using something in your life to get in your head or what not, im sure if you ask any player they have all been taunted by something personal in their life on the court or by fans, why certain groups of people we laugh at others we are told to feel sympathy for is beyond me

    • antistratfordian - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:06 PM

      This is a little different than general taunts. This is more along the lines of a white player calling a black player the N word.

      • pfic15 - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:06 AM

        Of course it is….

      • jerze2387 - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:10 AM

        No. Just no. not even close.

  14. cbking05 - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    Tim Hardaway Jr.

  15. flyingvien - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    I support Jason Collins.

  16. sdl65 - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    The league is filled with kids so this is not surprising. Large in physical stature but still very early in the mental maturation process.

    • progress2011 - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:40 PM

      You can make that comment about most athletes.

      ESPECIALLY Hockey players….those backwoods, toothless dudes think it’s boxing on ice….ahahahaha

      Most are rudimentary bar-room, brawlers with the IQ of a zoo primate….ahhahahaah

  17. billtetley53 - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    Kb2408: No, its really not the pot calling the kettle black. I’m not a homophobe.

    You see where you go wrong(when don’t you?) is that when I spoke that way about you, I was always saying that it was ok that you, but I didn’t understand it. But I supported your lifestyle choice either way.
    Squishmitten and Sausagewallet are euphemisms for something female, not male.
    I didn’t expect you to get that.

    in short I support gay rights.

    July. North Hollywood. Why do you always run away when I say that? Why are you too chicken to settle our differences in person?
    You’re an alligator mouth and a hummingbird rear end. Just get off the site like you were supposed to last year.
    You’ve done nothing but make a bigger fool out of yourself since then.

  18. mindblather - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    Really, Brett? Someone trash talks someone else on the court and this now becomes headline news?! I don’t know what was said but in the context of making a news story out of it, it doesn’t matter. The talk is between grown men and they do not need the self-declared speech police involved. I realize your bosses from on high have told you (and Kurt and …) to keep up the party line in telling people what to think about homosexuality but perhaps NBC should keep the propaganda to its home page.

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:26 PM

      We’re not telling you what to think. If you choose to be on the wrong side of history that is your business.

  19. eugenesaxe1 - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:06 AM

    If dude doesn’t want attention, why even mention the one? Say nothing. He says he “let it go”, then announces it to the press. That’s not how letting it go works.

    • jerze2387 - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:14 AM

      yeah, but actully letting it go would cause him to fade into being *gasp* the average NBA player and not in the spotlight anymore.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        Thereby dooming him to the existence he (publicly) craves.

  20. jimsjam33 - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:20 AM

    There is no other player calling him names . It’s his way of staying in the NBA for sympathy reasons . The replies on this message board reveal the type of person he is . Several people have named suspected players and have labeled them ” knucklehead ” and ” idiot . ” Jason Collins is responsible for the name calling as he reveals his perverseness .

    • eugenesaxe1 - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:54 AM

      1-He’s staying in the league because he’s already signed for the rest of the year.
      2-“Perverseness”?
      3-Knucklehead.

  21. witchrunner - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    I don’t think it’s too big a deal. I used to hear this stuff when I was a kid. I think the other player had a breakdown when he realized that he could get cooties from a guy! Now, he’ll learn that he won’t die from the cooties.

  22. andreboy1 - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:00 AM

    Collins is a coward

    He wasted 8 years of his ex-GF’s life by using her to cover his sexuality. He was a full grown man who knew that he was gay and didn’t even tell her why he broke off their engagement.

    One of the worst things you can do to someone is to steal time from them. Jason did this for purely selfish reasons and NOBODY in the media will call him out on it because it would be “homophobic”.

    Collins is a coward

  23. djlexluger - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:18 AM

    The Knicks haven’t even played the Nets in the time he’s been on the team so you yahoos should stop throwing name out there.

  24. lakerfanforever - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:38 AM

    Must be brian scalabrine..

  25. bigmeechy74 - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    huh. probably that low life thug mike dunleavy jr

    • sixerstrong - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      My only regret is that I have but one thumb to give for this comment.

      • bigmeechy74 - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:06 PM

        lol thanks

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