Here is the most important part of Jason Collins’ very important, groundbreaking Sports Illustrated essay:

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

And here is the funniest part, where he explains he might be the best fouler the game has ever seen:

On the court I graciously accept one label sometimes bestowed on me: “the pro’s pro.” I got that handle because of my fearlessness and my commitment to my teammates. I take charges and I foul — that’s been my forte. In fact, during the 2004-05 season my 322 personals led the NBA. I enter the court knowing I have six hard fouls to give. I set picks with my 7-foot, 255-pound body to get guys like Jason Kidd, John Wall and Paul Pierce open. I sacrifice myself for other players. I look out for teammates as I would my kid brother.

I’m not afraid to take on any opponent. I love playing against the best. Though Shaquille O’Neal is a Hall of Famer, I never shirked from the challenge of trying to frustrate the heck out of him. (Note to Shaq: My flopping has nothing to do with being gay.) My mouthpiece is in, and my wrists are taped. Go ahead, take a swing — I’ll get up. I hate to say it, and I’m not proud of it, but I once fouled a player so hard that he had to leave the arena on a stretcher.

Not much for me to add here — except that that Shaq line is an instant classic — so go read the entire thing.

Comments (17)

  1. No idea he was black. Blows my mind.

  2. Kind of tough for an NBA team to sign him now, but good for Jason

    • good luck explaining why without sounding like an arsehole.

      • The guy has more coverage for being gay than for anything basketball related, you think that’s the type of locker room vibe coaches want?

        See Lamar Odom in Dallas

        • Lamar Odom had more press for being in a reality TV show with his wife while playing basketball.
          To even suggest this is similar is ignorant at best.

          If listened to anything anyone has said about Collins it seems he is an amazing locker room guy.

          • He will 100% be on an NBA team next season. No question.

          • That’s why a solid starter in the league needs to come out. (Needs is the wrong word, but hear me out) If Jason can’t find a job this summer, GMs can just say he’s a journeyman who’s not good enough to be in the league anymore, even if they are discriminating against him because of his sexuality. But if a starter or star player comes out, then becomes a free agent, it is obvious discrimination if that player gets no offers. I get what Kasper is saying. I don’t think it should matter. But teams could use his lack of offensive ability as the reason they aren’t sign him, when their reasoning might be discriminatory.

          • The Lamar Odom comparison is silly however. Lamar wasn’t released because of Reality Show. He was released because he couldn’t focus on basketball. Jason has no such problems. He has always been a consummate professional

          • Dude, bit of an over-reaction. Kaspar brings up a point worth discussing. Even if you don’t agree with it, he’s not being an ‘arsehole’ nor ‘ignorant’. Besides, he didn’t say that he agrees with discrimination, just that it exists. If you can’t explore things that you don’t necessarily agree with, how are you ever going to grow? Let’s not get so over-sensitive that we shut down discussion, hmmm?

        • I agree that could been seen as a problem, but it might have the opposite reaction – i.e., say he gets back on a team with a strong culture, I could see it more bonding than anything.

          Regardless, he will play next year. Even if his skills have eroded enough (I think he still has some game left, however) where he might not otherwise be picked up by a team, he will absolutely been on a team next year if for no other reason than you can’t leave the guy who just came out and still wants to play without a team.

          I also think most of the major coverage or potential distractions will fade away after the first few months of the season.

  3. And he OWNS Dwight Howard. Love it.

  4. I thought John Amechi was openly gay during his NBA career? Or was that only after he retired?

  5. I hope the raps pick him up to replace Aaron Gray. Raps need a bruiser and this guy is incredibly admirable. Booya!


  7. he is a spiiiiiiiiiiicy oneee

  8. Great read. I’m not sure how much of that story was his own writing, but the guy is incredibly articulate, admirable, and courageous.

    LGBT awareness has a great spokesperson.

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