Jason Collins took a major step towards changing the culture of professional sports by becoming the first openly-gay player who is actively playing. He took a big risk in today’s world but for the first time, he seems happy as he was able to set his truth free.
As Collins puts it: “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.”
Collins has become a hero to many and he deserves to come forward with this truth and be able to live his life the way he chooses to. Overall, there has been widespread support from the NBA community. From players, to coaches and fans, many applaud Collins for what he has done with the decision he has made to come out.
Collins is a free agent this season and is looking to continue his playing career. The hot debate has been whether or not a team will offer him a contract for next season. Part of it being the fact that he has come out as gay, but the other part being he is a 34-year-old center who has not had much production the past few seasons.
The combination of both of these things will be what helps Collins get a spot on an NBA roster next season.
Collins’ career numbers are not anything to write home about: 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds. But he has stuck around in the league for 11 seasons for a reason. He is what you call a “pro’s pro.” He never complains about his role, he always puts his team first and all he wants to do is win. He can come in and be physical on the defensive end and use his fouls and do anything it takes to help the team win.
In addition, many NBA teams will jump at the opportunity to offer him a contract. The idea of being the first team to offer a contract to an openly-gay player could be enticing to many GM’s. From a public relations standpoint, there has to be a team that would take that opportunity.
There is always room on the end of your bench for a guy like Jason Collins. There aren’t a lot of big men in the league and any time you can get a 7ft veteran to come in and play defense, it will do nothing but help your team win. You will see Jason Collins in an NBA uniform next year, and it will be a great thing when we do.