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Jason Collins to Throw Ceremonial First Pitch as Part of “Pride Night” at Fenway Park

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The top teams in the American League standings will face off tonight at Fenway Park as the Boston Red Sox host the Texas Rangers for the decisive game of a three-game set. But the major story line of tonight will not be the result of the contest between these two American League powerhouses.

The major headline, instead, will be Jason Collins throwing out the ceremonial first pitch in the first ever “Pride Night” at Fenway Park.  Collins played for the Boston Celtics earlier this season before being traded to the Washington Wizards at the deadline. Of course, Collins is not being honored tonight for his play with the Green, but rather for his courageous decision to announce he was gay in late April.

Collins became the first active player in one of the four major sports to come out of the closet. The bravery displayed by Collins to declare his sexual orientation was monumental. He has become a role model and hero for many people, homosexual or straight, as his decision helps demonstrate the importance of being happy with yourself for who you really are.

The Red Sox asked Collins to throw the first pitch via a tweet:

Not only will Collins be saluted tonight for his resolution but the entire LGBT community will receive special recognition at Fenway Park for “Pride Night”.

“Boston Pride is delighted to be working with the Boston Red Sox on Pride Night at Fenway Park,” said Boston Pride President, Linda DeMarco. “The Boston Red Sox are a strong ally to the LGBT community and to have a special Pride Night brings additional excitement to the week’s events.”

According to the organizers of the event, “Pride Night” was designed in an effort to show “inclusivity” of the LGBT community in major league sports.

The Boston Red Sox have made an admirable decision to host “Pride Night” and allow Jason Collins to throw the first pitch.