Don’t be surprised if more older NBA and NFL players start to come out of the closet.
There is less risk involved, Jason Collins penned an open letter to SI.com, explaining why he wanted to tell the world he is gay.
Here is his explanation why.
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.
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.”
As I stated above, it is easier when you are an older player on the downside of your career. Even though Jason Collins has been in the league for many years, his name wouldn’t ring a bell with casual fans.
Now everyone will know him and this will be talked about for days. So, while I am sure Jason Collins wanted to get this off his chest, there is also a part that will be great PR for him and the gay community.
I have no feelings about it either way, to be perfectly honest. Your choice, to come out or not, better you do it, then let Hollywood Simpson do it for you.