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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.” Boston Globe
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.” Boston Globe
Hours after an Indiana House vote paved the way for the controversial bill, a prominent former athlete and openly gay man has taken to Twitter to question the bill's effects. Jason Collins: .@GovPenceIN, is it going to be legal for someone to discriminate against me & others when we come to the #FinalFour? http://news.yahoo.com/indiana-house-passes-controversial-religious-freedom-bill-210228540.html … Indianapolis Star
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.” Out Magazine
At Yahoo Sports, we’re always look to guide our readers to the best, most relevant, original content we can. 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. Yahoo!
Jason was an All-American at Stanford University and played in the Final Four his freshman year. Jason will debut on Yahoo Sports “Tourney Bracket Live” show on March 15 at 7:30pm ET. Yahoo!
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. Medium
Jason Collins: Today, I am retiring from the NBA after 13 seasons. Most people reading this probably don’t know me from SportsCenter. Most people know me as “the gay basketball player.” I have been an openly gay man for approximately three percent of my life. I have been a professional basketball player for almost half of it. The Players' Tribune
“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. The Players' Tribune
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.” The Players' Tribune
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. The Players' Tribune
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. The Players' Tribune
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. The Players' Tribune
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.” New York Times
Collins, who remains a free agent, told the Blade he has not made any decisions about the upcoming season and whether he will return to the Nets. “I’m going to enjoy my summer right now,” he said. “I still work out. I still train.” Collins told the Blade his immediate plans include public speaking and traveling. “I will evaluate things at the end of the summer,” he said. Washington Blade
Jason Collins is probably done with professional basketball. And he should be. He's still undecided about attempting a return for his 14th NBA season. And he does have some interest in becoming a coach or joining a front office. But right now, he is already fulfilled and has never been more relevant to the sports landscape. Oakland Tribune
Marcus Thompson: "I was in denial. ... I never kissed a guy until I was 34 years old." - Jason Collins ... Castro Theatre erupts @inforumsf Twitter @ThompsonScribe
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