Monday In Sports: The Come Out

The Washington Wizards made head lines this week - not for being a winning team, however, but by having one of their players announce that he is gay. 

"I'm Black, and I'm gay", said Jason Collins in a Sports Illustrated magazine tell all.  

Really?   We can see you're Black, Jason.  That part is obvious.  What wasn't so definitive, until now,  was whether or not you are gay.  

Now we have confirmation.

Says Collins, "“I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport,” he continues. “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.”

Well, if you're going to be gay, it may have some edge to announce it in the Nation's Capital where you have the support of a president on the issue of rights for LGBT people.

While the president hasn't yet responded to Collins' announcement, the issue did come up today in the White House briefing where press secretary Jay Carney laid claim to the "progress and evolution made" on the issue.  He also said he commends Collins on his courage and "hopes that his team and fans support him in his effort."

**UPDATE**  The Huffington Post has reported that the president did, in fact, call Collins to lend his support ,saying "he was impressed by his courage."

While some are supportive of Collins (or pretend to be), others have a slightly different take.  

Enter Miami Dolphins' wide receiver Mike Wallace, who is entitled to his opinion, who had this to say via his Twitter account.

Wallace later apologized.

Collins wore the number 98 in honor of Matthew Shephard, the student at a university in Wyoming who was murdered in 1998 on suspicion of being gay. 

Was that the first clue?

Collins, who has played for six pro teams and made appearances in two NBA Finals, tells SI that he decided to come out when Joe Kennedy, an old roommate at Stanford and now a Massachusetts congressman, told him he had marched in Boston's 2012 Gay Pride Parade.

"If I had my way", said  Collins, "someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand.”

Collins may be the first professional athlete to 'raise his hand' to openly come forward about his affinity towards men, and he won't be the last.


The Wizards (along with other supporters) have released their own Twitter comments in support of Collins.  Click here.

In Other NBA News -

The color is white.
Michael Jeffery Jordan finds happiness with white (Cuban) girl marries over weekend. (Continuing the practice of high-profile Black athletes - and entertainers - who marry outside their race). 

MIB 2013 attend wedding for NBA great Michael Jordan.
Thousands of guests celebrated and attended the nuptials, including former NFL-er and sports broadcaster, Ahmad Rashad, who was recently ousted out of his home by his white wife. Jordan's good friend, Tiger Woods, arrived without his white girlfriend, tennis star Lindsey Vonn.

Reports indicate that Usher sang at the event.

Are you getting the picture now?   Men who have had marital issues attend wedding of man who has had marital issues.  

[Yes, we know that there isn't one marriage out there without issues].   Let's move on.

Moving on.
Jordan and former model Yvette Prieto began dating in 2008 and announced their engagement in 2011, after several years of cohabitation.

Jordan has three children with his first wife, Juanita Jordan, the woman who loved and supported him throughout his rise to NBA and NIKE brand fame.

Pics of the outside of the wedding compound.

Details From Someone Who Was There.
Former, local DC radio personality to the stars describes the event as he witnessed it.

On the guest list.
"At one point I'm kicking it with Spike Lee, Scottie Pippen, and hockey icon Mario Lemieux. Right then I'm thinking who else can pull such a variety of people like this together?

On the happy couple.
"I will also tell you that Yvette & Michael were beautiful together and very happy. They were so gracious too. At least 3 times that night, they thanked me for coming and said it was an honor to have us. I just thought that was so humble and sweet. Y'all are honored? Please!"

"I've know MJ for 25 years now and I've never seen him happier. His smile was boyish and he floated about with the joy of a child on Christmas morning. "

About the bride.
"I remember telling Michael how cool I could tell she was, just from the picture of her I had seen. And now that I've gotten to know her, I can say with certainty, she's the real deal. Smart, sweet, kind, thoughtful, and beautiful."

 What MJ's Mom said.
I was telling his mom how proud I was of him and I said I can only imagine the level of pride you must have. She said "Happy is a better word. I'm happy for him." She's right, Happy is a better word."