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Jason Collins makes the Time 100

Apr 24, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

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Jason Collins – the first openly gay current athlete in North American team sports – inspired a road crowd to applaud a benchwarmer. He inspired a college football player and a college basketball player to come out. And he inspired countless young athletes to be comfortable in their own skin and accepting of others.

That’s why Collins became a member of the Time 100, a list of the world’s most-influential people.

Chelsea Clinton wrote the short essay on Collins:

I met Jason Collins when we were freshmen at Stanford. Not surprisingly, the first thing I noticed was his height. The second thing I noticed was his kindness off the court — and his fierceness on it. Kindness to his friends, his family and fans. Fierceness in his drive to win. Jason has always been focused on others, on what’s right for those he loves, and on helping those whose jersey is the same as his.

Jason’s kindness and fierceness alike derive from that word too often bandied about and too rarely true: integrity. Jason has always maintained he’s first a basketball player. He is. But he’s also a leader and an inspiration.

Collins was the only basketball player on the list, making him – in Time’s judgment – the most influential person in the NBA. And I’d agree. His news transcended sports in ways the happenings of the league’s top players don’t.

Though Collins was the only NBA player to make the 100, Dwyane Wade also appeared as the writer of the Serena Williams essay:

I first met Serena over a decade ago in Miami when I joined the Heat. Since then, I’ve watched her grow and dominate in her sport, overcoming adversity to win title after title. There is no doubt that she has made an incredible impact on the world of tennis, but it’s her determination to never give up that has always resonated with me.

  1. reesesteel23 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    Ofcourse he does.

  2. Bryce - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    I sit at a desk and read articles all day and I swear I have done more for the game of basketball then this guy has. GH!

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      What more have you done for the game of basketball than Jason Collins?

  3. jzone954 - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    He’ll be on wheaties box soon enough…
    Followed by a national observance of “Jason Collins day”

  4. azarkhan - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Time magazine (like Newsweek) stopped being a serious, objective publication a long time ago. Now it regurgitates Democratic Party garbage ad nauseum.

  5. shuttaman1990 - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Damn shame when he and his team will be eliminated by the raptors.
    Bum nets my god they were never good even when we took their soul in the finals
    Lakers all day.

    • billtetley53 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      Hey, who did the lakers draw in the playoffs this year? Oh, thats right, they were out of it by Thanksgiving!
      Poor Shutta is all confused. He goes from 6 to midnight in his pants everytime he sees a picture of Collins and it frightens him.

      • shuttaman1990 - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:05 PM

        I came to comment about collins cuz he was in the playoffs.
        I didn’t have anything negative to say about him making it. I mean he is the first.

        He’s a net and they suck, and you too bill!

    • mackcarrington - Apr 24, 2014 at 8:06 PM

      I read an old interview with Bill Russell from 1970. He said at that time it didn’t mean anything to him to be the first black head coach of a pro team. He said it would mean a lot more to him later when he was the first of many.

  6. readysethike - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    FOH

  7. ranfan12 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    “I noticed was his kindness off the court — and his fierceness on ”
    What fierceness is he talking about lol

    • jollyjoker2 - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:34 PM

      his fierceness in going to the hole. Didn’t you know that?

  8. mackcarrington - Apr 24, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    Time Magazine once named Adolph Hitler “Man Of The Year”.

  9. huskerguy - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    Yawn….

  10. longtallsam - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:31 PM

    One of “100 most influential”? You have got to be kidding! Time isn’t even one of the 100 most influential magazines!

  11. kavika6 - Apr 25, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    Ridiculous.

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