Jason Collins Rumors

All NBA Players

Jason Collins
Jason Collins
Position: None
Born: 12/02/78
Height: 7-0 / 2.13
Weight:259 lbs. / 117.9 kg.
Collins sees the distraction defense as a convenient excuse for something else and offers a pointed critique of Dungy’s view. “If you were to ask Tony Dungy if he feels like homophobia is in his level of thinking or if he’s homophobic, he’d say no,” Collins says. “Well, if you were to ask Donald Sterling if he sees how his comments are racist, he said no, too. Some people don’t recognize their own racism, homophobia. His awareness, and people like him, are the problem.” Dungy declined comment when offered an opportunity to respond.
Last summer, NBC analyst and former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy said he would not have drafted Sam. “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play,” Dungy told the Tampa Tribune, “but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.” That still rankles Collins. He says when he joined the Nets “there was this myth that I’d be a distraction,” but that “after two weeks, it was back to business as usual. There are only so many times you can write the story about the gay teammate.”
Collins believes a lot of assistant coaches are afraid to come forward for fear of ruining their chances of receiving head coaching opportunities. “A lot of those assistant coaches are waiting for that head coach to step forward and show that level of leadership,” Collins said. “The culture still has a long way to go to still embrace an openly gay coach, as well. We need that at the collegiate level and professional level.” It was a difficult decision for Collins, and he said his responsibility is to make that decision easier for those who follow him. “There is always work to be done,” he said. “Working the NBA level, the culture has changed so much and we talked about it as far as the language in the locker room and stressing to the players that this is the way the country is going. It’s great to see people being accepted. There are those people that I am in contact with that aren’t ready yet to step into the public. So it’s my job to create that environment and work with straight allies because we can’t do this alone in the LGBT community.”
Collins participated in a panel on diversity and inclusion hosted by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Brought up in that discussion was the potential of coaches to make the same public leap as Collins did two years ago. “There still is a culture in sport that we need more coaches to live an authentic life,” he said. “I know that there are a lot of coaches, particularly in college coaching, who are living their private lives up to a certain point and it’s sort of like we need a [Apple CEO] Tim Cook, when he did write that op-ed and officially came out. This is a CEO and leader of one of the biggest companies in the world fully acknowledging and saying that he’s sacrificing his private life for the sake of the greater good.”
Former NBA player Jason Collins has signed on to become an analyst for Yahoo Sports. Collins, who came out two years ago, will be giving on-camera commentary on the NCAA’s men’s basketball tournament and the remainder of the NBA season starting March 15. “At Yahoo Sports, we’re always look to guide our readers to the best, most relevant, original content we can,” Yahoo stated in a release. “And today I’m happy to welcome the latest addition to our lineup, former NBA player Jason Collins. Jason will provide original video programming for the Yahoo Sports studio including basketball analysis for both the upcoming men’s NCAA basketball tournament and the NBA.”
DeAndre Jordan: Nowadays, you won’t catch me without a copy of the Bible wherever I go, but my faith doesn’t make me a preacher?—?and it doesn’t give me license to push my views on anyone else. There are countless examples of intolerance, anger and polarization all around us, and religion, sadly, often is a basis for them. That’s upsetting to me because God teaches us to love and accept one another. Last year, when Jason Collins bravely opened up to the world about his sexuality, later becoming the NBA’s first active gay player, I felt a tremendous sense of kinship with and admiration for him. You see, through Christ, I am able to accept those who may be different than me, and embrace them regardless of the judgments other people make.
After that, everything happened really fast. I’ve often been asked if I was nervous to face the team for the first time. Honestly, I barely had time to think about it. I was more worried about how I was supposed to pack for a road trip. There’s only so much you can fit in a few travel bags, and when you’re a seven-footer, you can’t just roll up to the mall and buy normal-size jeans. I remember packing thinking that my wardrobe rotation was going to be very limited if I end up staying with the team for the rest of the year. Everybody wanted to know what it’s like to play in a game as an openly gay man in the NBA. From the moment I stepped onto the court to the moment the final buzzer sounded—it was the same as my previous 12 years.
When I decided to come out publicly with my letter in Sports Illustrated in April 2013, I was fully prepared to never play in the NBA again. Being an older free agent, I was dreading the “D” word. He’s a Distraction. Why bother? But I was also bracing myself to hear a lot worse, whether it was from opposing fans or from players. I had been in sports locker rooms since my high school days in the mid-’90s. I knew how guys talked. Athletes can be very … colorful with their language.
I’d had enough. I wanted to be free. A few months later, after 33 years of not telling a single soul, I came out of the closet. First to a friend in Los Angeles, then to my aunt Teri. She said she had always known, and she was fully supportive. With that initial burden lifted, I told my family and close friends next. Unlike Teri, my twin brother Jarron was stunned. To be honest, I was pretty surprised that I was able to fool him for three decades. This is the guy I spent more hours talking to than any other person in my life. For the first time, he saw the real me. He had absolutely no idea.
As ridiculous as it sounds, I asked myself, What would a straight guy do in this situation? So I pulled the fake-heated mean-mug face. Like, no way am I gay. Me? Are you serious? I started talking about a girl who had conveniently come to visit me that week. Of course, this girl was just a friend, but the guys didn’t know that. So I just kept talking, hoping I sounded believable. I felt like I was sinking in quicksand. It was so silent you could hear a pin drop. Finally, somebody yelled out from the back of the bus, “Hey, what are you talking about? I saw him out with that girl the other night. Come on, man. You crazy. He’s straight.”
“Hey Jason … Jason! How come we never see you with any women? Are you gay?” The team bus was uncomfortably silent. Everybody from the front of the bus to the back heard the question. It wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. In sports, guys bust each other’s balls all the time. I had been asked that question a few different times by teammates in my previous years in the league, but this time was different. Whenever guys would go out on the town on road trips, I always had a built-in excuse—a trip to a local casino or a visit to a family friend or a college buddy in that city who I had to go see. Sometimes those friends were real. Sometimes I made them up and would sit alone in the hotel watching TV while the guys went out to enjoy the nightlife.
Not even the transition program itself is exempt from mishaps. In 2008, Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat and Darrell Arthur, formerly of the Memphis Grizzlies, were sent home and fined $20,000 after being caught with women in a room that smelled of pot. And last year, Shabazz Muhammad, a rookie for the Minnesota Timberwolves, was ejected after illicitly entertaining a woman (he was forced to repeat the program this year). “We’ve all heard the horror stories,” said Jason Collins, who most recently played for the Brooklyn Nets and who, as the N.B.A.’s first openly gay player, had come to talk about diversity. “When they leave the Rookie Transition Program, their learning process is just beginning.”
Collins was asked about it on Takepart.com and he noted that people have to be wary of “code words” and noted that despite the historic nature of his signing, it quickly became about basketball... “As an NBA coach, shouldn’t he want a challenge. As an athlete, I love a challenge, overcoming obstacles. That being said, I think that personnel, coaches, owners, can look at my example, my journey and see that after two weeks back, it was about basketball. There were games, especially a month after I was signed, that reporters didn’t even ask me any questions.
Jason Collins talked basketball with NBA fan –and MSNBC host– Ronan Farrow Wednesday and when at the end of the interview he was asked if he was planning a return to the NBA, he was again non-committal, but also got a bit emotional when talking about the reception he received when he joined the Nets. “I haven’t decided yet. After everything went down over the last year, I kind of need a mental break right now. I’m going around doing a lot of speaking opportunities, speaking up for civil rights issues, LGBT issues. I’m enjoying my summer. I’m a huge fan of tennis. I’m going to Wimbledon next week to check that out.