What’s Sex Have To Do With… The NBA?

In the past year and a half, the elephant in the room has finally been revealed, and questions have been answered. Are there gay athletes playing at the highest level of competition? The answer is yes, yes there are. Jason Collins has been in the NBA since 2001, last playing for the Brooklyn Nets last season. He is a 7’0″ tall gifted athlete from Los Angeles, California. He played basketball at Stanford and was drafted as the 18th overall pick in 2001 by the Houston Rockets- he is no scrub whatsoever, just past his prime currently. He has played way more years in the NBA than its average player, and also has a twin brother Jarron who played along side him for many years in the NBA. Last year, he announced he was gay and had his face graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. He will forever be remembered as the first openly gay, male, active professional athlete. The amount of courage it took for Jason to come out of the closet to the world must have been unbearably tough; however, having the guts to continue to play basketball after doing so is something that will be remembered by the sports world forever. Of course the immediate questions swirled: how will his teammates react? How will he be received by fans? How will the locker room dynamic work? Where will he shower? Although I have heard not how the locker room and shower situation worked out, it is a general consensus that Jason Collins has been treated as he has his entire career. He is a player with talent, who is respected as a result of his humble nature and work ethic. Here is another question: well it took Jason Collins 12 years into his career to come out… are there any other gay players in the NBA? Personally, I feel that there at least a handful of gay players in the NBA; I was shocked and surprised to hear the news that Jason Collins was gay, so why wouldn’t there be room for any others out there? It is only a matter of time before the next player comes out, once they gain the courage it takes. It was a big step in the culture of the NBA to generally accept a gay player- but hey, the way they see it is: if you can play, then you can play! Who cares who you like to date anyway?

 

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