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Old 04-29-2013, 10:26 AM  
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Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now

By Jason Collins with Franz Lidz

This story appears in the May 6, 2013, issue of Sports Illustrated.

I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay.

I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, "I'm different." If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand.

My journey of self-discovery and self-acknowledgement began in my hometown of Los Angeles and has taken me through two state high school championships, the NCAA Final Four and the Elite Eight, and nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons.

I've played for six pro teams and have appeared in two NBA Finals. Ever heard of a parlor game called Three Degrees of Jason Collins? If you're in the league, and I haven't been your teammate, I surely have been one of your teammates' teammates. Or one of your teammates' teammates' teammates.

Now I'm a free agent, literally and figuratively. I've reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.

Why am I coming out now? Well, I started thinking about this in 2011 during the NBA player lockout. I'm a creature of routine. When the regular season ends I immediately dedicate myself to getting game ready for the opener of the next campaign in the fall. But the lockout wreaked havoc on my habits and forced me to confront who I really am and what I really want. With the season delayed, I trained and worked out. But I lacked the distraction that basketball had always provided.

The first relative I came out to was my aunt Teri, a superior court judge in San Francisco. Her reaction surprised me. "I've known you were gay for years," she said. From that moment on I was comfortable in my own skin. In her presence I ignored my censor button for the first time. She gave me support. The relief I felt was a sweet release. Imagine you're in the oven, baking. Some of us know and accept our sexuality right away and some need more time to cook. I should know -- I baked for 33 years.

When I was younger I dated women. I even got engaged. I thought I had to live a certain way. I thought I needed to marry a woman and raise kids with her. I kept telling myself the sky was red, but I always knew it was blue.

I realized I needed to go public when Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford and now a Massachusetts congressman, told me he had just marched in Boston's 2012 Gay Pride Parade. I'm seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had done filled me with envy. I was proud of him for participating but angry that as a closeted gay man I couldn't even cheer my straight friend on as a spectator. If I'd been questioned, I would have concocted half truths. What a shame to have to lie at a celebration of pride. I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding. I want to take a stand and say, "Me, too."
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:49 AM   #136
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It is odd that you'd pick and choose what part of "faith" you'd want to accept. If one part of the bible is false, aren't they all?
I don't think that having a belief that God exists requires a literal interpretation of the Old Testament, no.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:50 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
I don't know that anyone is arguing for "equality" in the sense that they want gays and straights to be identical.
Well, that's good.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:50 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
I don't think that having a belief that God exists requires a literal interpretation of the Old Testament, no.
Or the New?
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:53 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
It is odd that you'd pick and choose what part of "faith" you'd want to accept. If one part of the bible is false, aren't they all?
What does the bible tell you to do about gays? What does it tell you to do about other groups that don't believe the same things you do, like Jews and Buddhists? Doesn't it allow you to let them live their lives without condoning their beliefs/practices and leave it for God to judge them?

I'm asking because I don't know.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:55 AM   #140
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Not a very brave person. Waits until his 34 and a free agent currently out of the league, probably not ever to play again. Not sure why this is news, he's not really an "NBA player". He's a formber player. And that's the point of this coming-out stuff. Has to be someone with something to lose, else it's not bravery.
So easy he's the first.

I get your point that it would have been *harder* if he did it on draft night 5 minutes before he was expected to be picked. But let's not be silly.

It was hard to do. And now that this has happened, soon enough no one will care enough about these things for the media to pay it any attention. If nothing else, this is a step in that direction that I imagine people will be happy about if not applaud.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:55 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
What does the bible tell you to do about gays? What does it tell you to do about other groups that don't believe the same things you do, like Jews and Buddhists? Doesn't it allow you to let them live their lives without condoning their beliefs/practices and leave it for God to judge them?

I'm asking because I don't know.
I'm not sure it really matters what the Bible says, folks like Saul don't read it anyway.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:55 AM   #142
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:56 AM   #143
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Or the New?
I don't know that it requires either. As it pertains to Christianity, I see a lot more ink devoted to treating everyone with dignity and love than I do to ostracizing those who fall short of the standard Jesus set.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:57 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
You sound like a PETA member screaming slurs at people walking into KFC. Most people who eat meat still object to animal cruelty, and the vast majority of Americans eat meat. Most people of faith still object to gays being discriminated against, and the vast majority of Americans identify with one religion or another.

It may feel good to throw red paint on someone wearing a fur coat, but nobody has ever watched that happen and decided to change their ways and support the activist. Nobody witnesses your histrionics and decides "that guy just trivialized my belief in God while calling me a piece of shit...I should deeply consider his point of view."

I guess, if you aren't catching any flies, add more vinegar.
You act as if there isn't an awful lot of anti-gay noise coming from the christian right in absolutely every forum in which it could possibly originate. Holy shit there are members of congress who can't get with it and actively campaign for discrimination against gays. They inevitably rush to the bible as the authority for their claims.

Don't act like it's one or two bad seeds that make the christian brotherhood look bad when it comes to not accepting lifestyles that the bible (it seems) condemns.

And no, mocking christians is not the same as mocking gay people. Christians choose to believe that stuff.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:57 AM   #145
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I'm not sure it really matters what the Bible says, folks like Saul don't read it anyway.
I think you're under the false assumption that belief in God means taking a literal interpretation of the Bible.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:59 AM   #146
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You act as if there isn't an awful lot of anti-gay noise coming from the christian right in absolutely every forum in which it could possibly originate. Holy shit there are members of congress who can't get with it and actively campaign for discrimination against gays. They inevitably rush to the bible as the authority for their claims.

Don't act like it's one or two bad seeds that make the christian brotherhood look bad when it comes to not accepting lifestyles that the bible (it seems) condemns.

And no, mocking christians is not the same as mocking gay people. Christians choose to believe that stuff.
I see a lot more posts attacking Christians today than I see attacking gays.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:02 AM   #147
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I see a lot more posts attacking Christians today than I see attacking gays.
That poor minority, the christians that choose their faith. However shall they cope?
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:02 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
I think you're under the false assumption that belief in God means taking a literal interpretation of the Bible.
Yeah. 10 Commandments aren't really literal, do as you please. And Paul's NT writings were just his own personal thoughts, nothing really meant by any of them.


It would be really odd to justify the belief that a supreme being implanted his "son" into a woman in 4 BC and he was crucified and rose from teh dead. I mean, you believe that literally but not some benign everyday teachings. That blows me away.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:03 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
I'm not sure it really matters what the Bible says, folks like Saul don't read it anyway.
I don't care what Saul does. I'm asking because I'd like to know. Your posts make it seem like you know, so how about filling me in?

And just for the sake of being upfront with you, I'll tell you that I'm skeptical that the bible tells you to single out homosexuals for special sanctions that go beyond the treatment you'd apply to Jews or atheists or Buddhists or anyone else that fails to accept Christ in the way you believe he should be accepted.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:05 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by HMc View Post
You act as if there isn't an awful lot of anti-gay noise coming from the christian right in absolutely every forum in which it could possibly originate. Holy shit there are members of congress who can't get with it and actively campaign for discrimination against gays. They inevitably rush to the bible as the authority for their claims.

Don't act like it's one or two bad seeds that make the christian brotherhood look bad when it comes to not accepting lifestyles that the bible (it seems) condemns.

And no, mocking christians is not the same as mocking gay people. Christians choose to believe that stuff.
Mocking is mocking no matter the group. You seemd to have lost that in your tidy explination. When one who thinks as you do mocks a group as you did - it's justified. So Typical.
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