Post-game Reactions

Jason Collins was a beloved member of the Celtics locker room this season. Doc Rivers praised him for his honesty and wisdom. Now, there’s plenty more he should be praised for. In an article written by Collins himself, the 34-year-old center became the first active professtional athlete in the United States playing a major sport to come out as gay in a exclusive Sports Illustrated article written with Franz Ludz

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.

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.

The article is a tremendous read. Collins does a fantastic job being candid about himself and his choice to come out. He deserves great praise for the decision, and hopefully will start a trend now where all athletes can feel comfortable doing so in sports, if they choose to.

The interesting thing about all of this? Doc Rivers commented on the possibility of a gay athlete coming out this year, just weeks ago. What did Doc have to say?

At practice April 9th, Doc was discussing taking his team to see 42, the new Jackie Robinson movie. Rumors were circulating a group of NFL players may be coming out shortly, which led a reporter to pose the question to Doc about what would happen when a pro athlete comes out:

“There’ll be a lot of talk about it and then I think it will go away. It’s [interesting]. As a team, I took the team to see ’42′ [yesterday]. There was a lot of talk and then all of a sudden, everybody starts playing. And I think the same thing will happen. So, that’s the way I look at it.”

The point speaks volumes. And as for how Doc feels about Collins?

“He’s the best,” Rivers said. “He literally is one of the best guys I’ve ever had in the locker room, player or coach.”

Doc said that weeks ago. Today, I bet he still feels the same way, perhaps even more than ever.


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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • emg

    I always liked Collins. I wish he was better at basketball so being gay seemed cooler.

    Rondo is my favorite player and I believe he is gay or semi-gay. Also Crawford.

    • fabzzz

      Isn't the whole point that sexual orientation doesn't matter? No need to speculate about it, sort of defeats the purpose. Although, I am sure there are many more gay men playing in the NBA

    • Mark

      Why would you want gay to seem cooler? It's not like its a choice and all of a sudden people will "turn gay" because its the in thing.

      • emg

        I apologize for being flippant in my original comment.
        This is my reply to fabzzz and Mark:

        It's still common for people to think that being gay is shameful or uncool. Even liberal television shows like "the Daily Show" joke about it. I think that's bad. There's a reason why only one professional sports player has admitted to being gay.

        So as a person who wants being gay not to matter, I think for the time being, while society makes the transition, it's more effective PR, if popular folks are coming out as gay. For example, if Reagan or Bruce Springsteen turned out to be gay – or say in sports, Michael Jordan or Ussain Bolt or Lance Armstrong was gay, it would be socially positive for the time being. It seems obvious that if we're hoping to right the ship and turn away as much as possible at anti-gay sentiment, the more popular and admirable and well-liked the figure who is gay, the more impacting the moment.

        This conversation reminds me of how many people acted like it was racist to care one way or another about having a black president. Usually the people who made that point were closeted racists.

    • CelticsBIG3

      emg, why would you speculate on whether Rondo and Crawford are gay or not….? Where are you even getting that from? Please be mindful here folks that I am in no way homophobic or anything… Just kinda wondering why you would speculate that Rondo and Crawford are gay…

      • emg

        I was pretending I had gaydar and was joking around. I regret making the joke because it's me being guilty of the common type of humor I was criticizing.

  • dslack

    Good job, Jason. It takes courage to be the first. I hope he doesn't face an ugly backlash.

    • emg

      I bet this will only be a good thing.

  • Rav

    Good on him. Wonder if he'll get a contract for next year, though. It was unlikely just on his level of play, but I fear this may guarantee it.

    The next major step will be an athlete who is on a guaranteed contract with years left to run comes out. Then, obviously, the final barrier: acceptance.

    • CG12

      I definitely wonder, too. On the right team it might work, but my guess is that most teams will not want to take on anything that they think might mess up their chemistry, and that they think a gay dude in the locker room wll indeed interfere with chemistry. The Celts seem like they'd be a gay-friendly squad, but who knows.

    • CelticsBIG3

      NBA is gonna look pretty bad if he doesn't get picked up next year.

      • Rav

        You're right. But should they? Even if he's not worthy of a roster spot in the league, he'll have to be signed because of the above.

  • The Cardinal

    Cool…perhaps there will come a day when such an announcement isn't needed and isn't a big deal. He's always seemed like a great guy (and smart a s hell), and I'm happy he got the chance to do this on his own terms. I wish him nothing but the best!

  • John V

    I was impressed at how quickly Kobe Bryant tweeted his support. Nothing _needs_ to be said, and obviously they have a Knics series to worry about, but it would be nice to hear from some Cs players, too.

    • hydrofluoric

      Very classy move from Kobe.

  • Josh_5

    Why isn't there this much buzz when a guy comes out as straight?

    • Ersatz

      Why are you an idiot?

  • janos

    i am not have any issue this is good nba celtics guy and wish him best ;'; at some points on future it will be story not even make th enews, \ i am have live throgh many thing my life like this include a race segrate was big issue and now noboides care; is my hope on future is more announce and nobody is care. congrat to this guy for brave.

  • High Rollers

    Props to JC.

  • tbunny

    Huge respect to Jason.

  • GymRat


  • skeeds

    I wish we could just brush these kind of news off as being of no significant importance. The bitter truth though, is that it IS a big deal. Good for him, living in constant suppression by imposed stereotypes is an unspeakable burden, but even better for us, the almighty "public".
    It's unfair that this should be a big deal, but we need to confront these barriers one at a time. Yes, it will be important if indeed NFL players come out collectively as it's been rumored, it'll be important when a superstar comes out. Not because it's of any significance that a person can be both gay and a dominant athlete. That should be irrelevant. But the most bigoted part of our collective mind needs to be confronted with these truths, to be forced to accept them. It's the only way.

  • james patrick

    who cares what he is? but make no mistake.. this is a PR move. GREAT publicity for him. too bad he can't score the same PR for his skills on the court.

  • fabzzz

    Emg- Are you implying I’m a closeted homophobe?

    It would be great for society if many respected people came out as gay and of course I think it is a big deal he came out, I just dont understand the point in speculating about everyone’s sexuality. When I said “it didn’t matter” I meant the fact that he was gay not his comning out.

    • emg

      got it.

  • dslack


    Wow, that's the last time I pay any attention to Chris Broussard. What a jackass.

    • CG12

      One more reason not to listen to a word the guy says.

    • GymRat

      (re: his video statement) When a guy blinks that much I don't think deep down he truly believes his own rhetoric. It's actually comical.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Hopefully ESPN fires this asshole. We're supposed to listen to the opinions of a sack of shit who makes up trade rumors for a living? What a jackass.

    • NZNICK33

      Is it possible that Chris Broussard is gay too and he hates himself for it?
      Or is that too much of a cliche?

      Good on JC for coming out and I bet he'd be getting some run in the playoffs if we hadn't traded him (as Doc clearly doesn't trust Wilcox or Randolph)

    • The Cardinal

      Soooo… NOT "openly living in unrepentant sin" is fine with Broussard? Once again, Jesus wept and so did I over this kind of bigoted drivel. He's entitled to his opinion, but it's still drivel.

      Thank God, Buddha, Odin, Zeus, Mother Nature, Karma, Bruce Almighty, ones self or whomever or whatever one believes in that this way of "thinking (and I use that word quite loosely)" is undergoing serious examination in this country. Chris Broussard ain't got no stroke when it comes to anything of substance, so he can either evolve, be miserable or become president of the weekly re-enactors club for "the way things use to be and still should be, datgumit!" Of course for authenticity's sake, that will probably mean Chris will always have to play the role of the overworked, underpaid, uneducated sharecropper from the other side of the tracks but hey… that's dem good ol' days fer ya (…and yeah, probably more so than most posters here, my growing up near Montgomery, Alabama during the height of the civil rights/voting rights movement tends to make me a little more annoyed and sarcastic about bigotry of any kind, but that's a whole 'nother discussion). On to basketball!!!

  • james patrick

    this is exactly what i'm talking about. i don't fault him for coming out. i question the way he did it. he made it an issue, instead of letting people figure it out…

    • james patrick

      really? oh i forgot, it's not popular to have an opinion questioning this. haha

    • fabzzz

      How were people supposed to "figure it out"? And I don't think he made it an issue – homosexuality has been an "issue," or at least people's view on it has been.

      And I'm sorry if being courageous lands someone a job. That is really really awful.

  • james patrick

    Jim Parsons is gay. Sheldon on How I Met Your Mother. He talked about his relationship very nonchalantly. And that was AWESOME. why? because, Collins is standing on a soap boxing saying I'm gay! everyone is saying yay. way to go dude! Parsons spoke about his partner in a way where it's not a proclamation but just who his partner is. And THAT is why there is still an issue with homosexuality in this country. This is why it's going to take people longer to say so what, as they should.

  • jvrs

    Why is this article on CELTICS HUB .. Its the playoffs who cares about this Im a homo stuff.