« Bringing His A Game: Ian Crouch on A-Rod, the Astros, and Austerity | Main | Friended and Poked: Adrian Chen on Social Media »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Esteban Hernandez

1. Jason Collins decides to come out now as a gay man because he said, "he has been in an oven baking for 33 years." He is tired of holding in the truth and wants to finally reveal the world who he really is. He decided to do it now because of the Boston bombing. When he heard about what happened he thought to himself there may not be a chance for him to reveal to the world because something bad could happen to him. His reason does make sense because he has been holding in his feelings about wanting to reveal the truth about him, but has been scared about the outcome until now.
2. His credibility is his NBA career and how much experience he has. He mentions he has been in 6 professional teams and has been in the playoffs, as well as the finals. The criticism he might get will be the NBA players who are against gay rights as well as fans of the NBA. Collins may also get criticism whenever he decides to go out in the public and live his life. For example Mark Jackson the head coach of The Golden State Warriors mentions he is a religious man and he would not say anything else, but that he will pray for Collins and his family.
3. I would believe the argument can be about if certain people do not agree with Collins decision on revealing that he is gay and proud about it. There could be debates in the NBA if there are players who are gay, they will have to confront and reveal the truth. Collins response to other peoples they say, is he has been holding it in and has watched the world change. So he has decided to change with the world and make an impact in the professional sports to let others feel confident on whoever is holding in there feelings.
4. I do believe it is important for gay and lesbian major league athletes to come out because it shows how brave they are to show who they really are. This will start to make kids who are inspired by them stand up for themselves as well. I do not think their sexuality is relevant on how they play the game. The athletes will do what they are paid to do and that is playing the sport as a professional athlete no matter their sexuality.

Jessica Anne

Coming out is a big step, especially, if one is in the fixed eyes of the media. Jason Collins is a professional basketball player and has just recently come out that he is gay. This article is by Jason Collins along with Franz Lidz and it is a first person article that immediately grabs the reader because it is as if the reader is talking to Jason Collins, himself, one on one. I agree with Esteban Hernandez’s comment as to why Jason Collins decided to come out now. Collins had decided to come out a few years ago, but I believe it was the lack of support he had received as well as finding (what he believed to be) the appropriate time. He mentioned coming out to his aunt Teri and said, “from that moment on I was comfortable in my own skin.” It is difficult to do something you truly believe in when fear sets in, but even an ounce of support can go a long way which is what this proved. The way he describes the acceptance of others is very clever, he says, “Imagine you”re in an oven, baking. Some of us know and accept your sexuality right away and some need more time to cook. I should know... I baked for 33 years.” This man is very inspiring and has become a beacon of hope to numerous amounts of people who are in the position that he has been in. It is wonderful to read his statement and that he has left no room for questions because he addressed most if not all concerns/questions people may have had about him. He spoke with conviction and an eloquence that leaves the readers with a much better understanding of who he is and where he comes from. One of my favorite quotes from the article is when he says, “I don’t let my race define me any more than I want my sexual orientation to. I don’t want to be labeled, and I can’t let someone else’s label define me.” If everyone read this article and could take away one thing from it I hope it would be this quote because I believe it is something that speaks volumes. The truth in his words could not be said any other way. This is something we can all relate to, we are a nation of different cultures, race/ethnicities, and sexual orientations. We do not want to be defined solely on the way we look, where we come from, and our gender because although, these are things that make up who we are, they do not describe us in full.

jazmin hernandez

In this article, Jason Collins a basketball player is coming out as being gay. Collins explains that he is coming out now because he feels comfortable with himself being open. He has accomplished many things in his life and he knew he was gay since high school. He believes people are now more open about the subject and he thought 2013 was the right year. I believe he knows that he will receive both positive and negative comments especially because he is a league basketball player and there may be variation within the fans. Many people think basketball and the lives of the players do intertwine but in reality, Americans judge teams based on the players rather than a team as a whole. I think the argument in this article is whether it was appropriate for Collins to have outspoken about his sexuality being a basketball player. Americans do have a view on Gay men as being fashionable and feminine and Collins image is the opposite. I believe the fans are shocked but ultimately they will not mind because this subject has become so open to the public in comparison to the early 2,000’s.
I personally do not mind if major league athletes come out as being openly gay or lesbian because they have a personal life too. As long as they are good athletes, I do not think that has anything to do with their sexuality. For people who see them as role models might see them as being brave for coming out. Although, there are people who are against it and the athletes might lose a couple of fans but that number is coming out less every year especially if more athletes come out to the public as being gay. For example, when I found out Orlando Cruz a professional boxer came out as being gay I was surprised. I was not expecting it because I did have that notion that gay men were feminine and Cruz is so masculine. It did not bother me at all I was excited that athletes were showing their identity.

Omar Joya

Jason Collins wrote an article along with Franz Lidz called "Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now." The article serves as a reason to why he came out now rather than 10 years ago. Jason Collins writes about the steps he took in coming out to the whole world. He establishes that as a veteran he was now ready to show the world that professional athletes can be gay and still play in an American sport. He goes on to explain that he was on several teams in the league and has been a teammate's teammate in an inception-style that goes on. He also broke down a barrier that was already cracking with other professional athletes advocating gay players to come out.
When I found out that the former center for the Boston Celtics was now openly gay I was surprised. There are many stereotypes that are carried out by society of gay men being feminine or unmanly, but there is Jason Collins, a competitive center that has sent men off the court in stretchers for his rough in-your-face plays. I believe that those stereotypes about gay persons should be laid to rest because as a society it makes us ignorant and blind to the truth.
Something that irritates me is the persons that oppose to the choice that Jason Collins made in coming out. There are several persons that oppose openly gay athletes. Ultimately, Jason Collins played for the Boston Celtics. Boston is in Massachusetts which passed a law that allowed marriage licenses to gay couples. During this year there was a bombing in the Boston Marathon where several were injured and three were killed. The Westboro Baptist Church claims that the bombing were punishment from God because they were the Massachusetts were the first American state to allow gay marriage. I can only imagine the kind of conniving plan they would make in opposing Jason Collins choice. I support the choice that Jason Collins made and the change that it will come with in American sports.

Eric Anaya

Jason Collins decision on coming out has been described as a historical moment. No other professional athlete in a male dominant sport has ever admitted to being gay even though there have always been gay athletes. The argument here is why did Collins wait until now to come out? Although it took Jason Collins a while to come out he is still regarded as a hero for doing so while he is still an active player. It is very difficult for anyone in the public eye to reveal any personal information to the public due to judgments and criticism. So for Collins to reveal such a controversial personal fact about himself is very brave to say the least. Collins has knowingly opened himself up to the world and will receive positive and negative feedback from others. Many will accept him and embrace him as a modern day hero who decided to stand up for himself. Others will unfortunately have a hard time accepting Collins coming out and may stir up some conflict. The question in this article was why did Collins decide to come out now? He answered this question very easily by simply saying “he is a team player.” Which means before he decided on coming out to the world he thought about how it would affect all those around him his family, friends, loved ones, teammates, etc. He even thought about other gay pro athletes not only now but in the future. Collins admitted to not coming out earlier in the season because he didn’t want that kind of attention for his teammates on the Boston Celtics. He wants the focus to be on winning a championship with his team not on his sexual orientation. Collins didn’t have to reveal this information to anybody, but he decided he wanted to take control of his life rather than have someone else do it. He wanted to be able to live the way he wants, but more importantly as the team player that he is he also wanted to help those in his situation. By coming out publicly Collins has made it that much easier for the next person to and so on starting a movement for acceptance in the sports world that started from this man “raising his hand.”

Rebecca Green

Jason Collins, a NBA player recently came out to his family, his fans, and the public. I commend Jason for being honest to himself and to his loved ones. I cannot even imagine how gut wrenching it must be for anyone to carry around a secret of such magnitude for so long. The difficulty in coming to terms with one’s own identity, an identity that is not accepted by everyone, worrying about the consequences, wondering what people will say, wondering what people will do, must be the hardest thing anyone can endure. Due to his status as a professional athlete, he is faced with the scrutiny of the media, and the ignorance of those unable to be tolerant of a lifestyle different from theirs. Even though he has not changed, he is still the same person he was before he came out, the public, as well as other athletes may see him differently. I would hope that as adults, his teammates and anyone else can put aside differences and prejudices they may have, and open their self up to acceptance. It takes great courage and strength for a person to accept who they are, realize it is okay to be themselves, however different it may seem, and then share that intimate detail with their family and friends. When someone comes out, especially in the public eye, it is sending the message that it is okay, the world will not end, and there is support available. This is so important for kids to understand, kids that are struggling with their own identity, their own sexuality, and feel they have nowhere to turn. The courage shown by Jason has the ability to reach young people all over the world, and can empower them to take a stand for who they are.

Crystal Gabriel

The article written by Jason Collins with Franz Liz gives Collins’ gives his [Collins] firsthand account about why he revealed the truth about his sexuality to the country and the struggle that led to it. Collins mentions that he seriously began considering revealing his sexual orientation in 2011 during the NBA lockout. He mentioned that during that time he did not have the distraction that basketball had always provided for him. Prior to the NBA lockout Collins explains that he had always lived his life the way he felt he was expected to live it. For example by dating women and having children with her. When finally revealing his sexual identity to family and the media, Collins received many mixed reactions and it seems that this will continue to occur no matter what. While many may support him, there will be individuals who are against him. I believe that Jason Collins chose to reveal his sexual orientation now instead of in 2003 because there is more tolerance today then there was ten years ago. By mentioning all of his experience in the sport of basketball as well as his mannerisms as a player, Collins is also breaking barriers and stereotypes as to what constitutes a “gay” male in society. I agree with Jessica Anne’s earlier response when talking about the amount of conviction and eloquence in Jason Collins’ tone throughout the article. He does address many concerns that may rise after his coming out, but repeatedly states that he is not defined only by his sexual orientation. Collins states that he is still the same man who has a love for the sport of basketball and who hopes to continue his success in the sport. He then concludes the piece by stating that his coming out was not only about Collins being truthful with himself and family, but about the importance of standing up for oneself and the things that they believe in. I found this piece to be a very important event because it breaks the typical stereotype of a gay individual. Many people that Collins was close to had no idea, and it shows that people should be more tolerant in such situations. Individuals who choose to remain close-minded and harsh criticizers contribute to the difficulties that come with a person who is trying to accept themselves, let alone have others accept them.

Raquel Angel

In Jason’s article, he sounds relieved to have come out as being gay. He sacrificed his happiness and peace of mind in part for the love of the game. He did not want judgment from the players or fans. The last thing he wanted was for his career to be affected. Jason coming took bravery and many sleepless nights it sounded like. Even though it is 2013 society still has a difficult time accepting the gay lifestyle and Jason is very aware of that, but he felt that this was the right year for him to do it. It looks like he thought about this for a long time and wanted to be very careful about how he came out to people. Acceptance is not an easy thing for people sometimes, especially when a sensitive topic comes up. Everyone is different and as a society, we need to do a better job of understanding that. It is not always easy to open up share an intimate secret as Jason did, so when that does happen people need to recognize the importance of that and be supportive. Now that Jason is a free agent, he knew that it was time for him to speak out and not be afraid. Obviously not everyone will be thrilled with his announcement but he just wanted to do the right thing because after years of it being about the team and making his teammates happy, it was time to make himself happy. Such a big sacrifice he made for what he felt was for the better of his teammates. The last thing Jason wanted to do was take attention away from the game because of something that should not be a big deal at all, like his sexual orientation. Whether people accept him well or not, he made the right decision and everyone else should support that.

Lilian Campos

Jason Collins coming out as a gay athlete is a huge step for professional sports in the U.S. as he is still an active player in the NBA. So far almost everyone in the organization strongly supports him, including some major politicians. It now comes down to how the fans will react. The past few years, the public has been more lenient with celebrities revealing their sexual orientation, which Collins refers in his article as a major reason why he chose now to say that he is gay. However, the world of professional sports is different from the world of entertainment. Many people follow pro sports because the teams usually represent their city, college, or country and in turn represent themselves. So, when a player misses a game winning shot, he or she quickly becomes hated by their own fans. Though Collins writes that he has been heckled and booed at before and expects it to intensify, he believes that winning games will calm it down. Still, there are some fans who will continue to harass him about his sexual orientation and it usually might not be face to face. With many athletes joining social media websites, it is easier for those fans to do so. If some athletes played poorly in a game, they get hundreds of comments with nothing but verbal abuse and, sadly, even receive death threats. It can even go on for years. That is why it is incredibly brave for Collins to come out while he is still playing. Up until now, it has usually been after an athlete retires to reveal their sexual orientation, so they did not have to face the pressure of how their peers and fans would react. Collins may not have wanted to be the first active athlete to come out but he knew someone has to pave the way.

Ricardo Palacio

I think NBA Center Jason Collin did a brave thing by coming out stating that he is gay. It must be hard to break from a lie after so many years. I assume he thought about this deeply for a really long time especially since he was thinking about coming out a few years back. An announcement such as Collin’s can ruin someone. His career was on the line and as he stated, “And what I want is to continue to play basketball.” He probably stated this because he is afraid of not being able to play anymore due to the negative feedback he will receive from many people, including NBA players and fans. We do not live in a utopia; Collins understands some people will look down on him because of his sexual orientation. I am sure he is very proud of what he did and now he stands tall behind his decision. I think the media is taking this far out of proportion. Collins has proven more than enough times that he is an awesome player. He has gone to nine playoffs in twelve seasons, brags about how many seasons he has played as a professional basketball player, how many people recognize him from being on several teams, and how he grew up with Christian values. Jason Collins has done amazing things in his basketball career, simply starting with him making it into the NBA. I understand his point of view, he was scared and that is why he took a long time to come out. Why be scared when you have accomplished what other people dream about. Who cares what anyone thinks, even if you are a professional basketball player. Collins should put his worries aside and recognize his attainments of his NBA career. I think the media is giving Collins too much attention, he should be left alone for what he decided to do. Then again, maybe Collins likes the media spotlight, since he is the first NBA player to come out saying he is gay. I am sure that the NBA and many of his fans will not really care about his sexuality since he has been proven to not be a “soft” player. Collins did a great job by making this declaration before stating he was gay, so the media would not twist his words around and make his decision look horrific. I hope for the best to Jason Collins and his NBA career.

Washington DC Divorce

I see nothing in his statement regarding what he does in his bedroom.

If I mention to you that I'm married to someone of the opposite sex, does that tell you a thing about what we do in our bedroom? Have you ever mentioned having an opposite-sex partner or being attracted to someone of the opposite sex? Is that equivalent to telling people what you do in your bedroom? If not, why's it different here?


he is coming out because no one else in an American sports team, he was waiting on someone else in the sports industry to do so but no one had and he was tired of living a lie so he came out, in the beginning he stated he was tired of hiding it and wanted to live his life truthfully and yes the make sense he doesnt want to live a fake life

Bader Alazmi

It is interesting that his brother didn't know. I like this remark: "He was downright astounded. He never suspected. So much for twin telepathy. But by dinner that night, he was full of brotherly love. For the first time in our lives, he wanted to step in and protect me." I am surprised to learn this because anyone who has not come out of the closet yet I have always had a suspicion that were gay. Regardless, I think it is quite brave what he has done. He is acting as a role model for the entire gay community and because homosexuality is not quite accepted within the arena of sports, this is a bold, brave move, and I hope it does not hurt his career. All in all, the founding fathers stated that all men are created equal in the most supreme document in the United States. I do not think they intended for anyone to be discriminated against. America has been guilty time after time with discriminating against people, mainly, based on religious beliefs but then they remove prayer from the schools. Sounds like an oxymoron to me.

Bader Alazmi

Jonathan, that's exactly right. He was tired of living a lie. His own brother did not even suspect that he was gay. What does this say? This says that he spent a lot of time living a lie and covering up his true self. This is unhealthy and I think could lead to physical illness as well as mental illness. Even if it hurts his career, and I hope it does not, he needed to do this.

Janet M

Jason Collins, NBA basketball player, finally came out as being gay. Good for him, I cannot even imagine what he was going through. Yes, it definitely makes better to me. All of those secrets will get to you. He stated that after he came out, and every person that I talked to, he had a sigh of relief and he slept a little better. I do not mind if athletes comes out as being gay. They are people with feelings and emotions just like the rest of us. As long as they play good, I am fine with it.

Janet M

Jason Collins said something that really stuck with me. He said, "Imagine you're in the oven, baking. Some of us know and accept our sexuality right away and some need more time to cook. I should know - I baked for 33 years." I definitely agree with my classmates, that is very courageous of him to admit that he is now openly gay.

Melissa N

I think my first reaction after reading this article was why does it matter? Being gay or straight doesn't change the man he is. I felt bad that he needed to "keep the secret" for so long. I got married when I was 18, if I tell people that will it change their impression of me? It shouldn't and he shouldn't have to fear telling people he prefers men. We need to accept people not judge. Remember the old saying, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. We all live with something that could be considered a glass house and in my opinion it shouldn't be an issue.

Melissa N


the oven comment really stuck with my too. I just cannot imagine what he went through keeping that secret.


As bad as this might make me sound I think Jason Collins came out to further his career, if he thought about coming out for years and now decided to when his career is basically over I feel like it was for attention dont get my wrong i think it was very courageous and i'm sure it took a lot for him to finally come out of the closet, but as a huge basketball fan Ive heard of Jason Collins maybe a couple of times most sports writers feel that he wouldn't have gotten signed with another team as a free agent and that would have been the end of basketball for him. Now if he doesn't get signed everybody will say its because he is gay, which i highly disagree with.


when jason collins says i hope for the best but expect the worse I think he needs to keep a more postive mindset in my own life if one of my friends came out and said they were gay i wouldn't look at them any differently. maybe its because i have such an open mind and i'm sure if he does get signed again he will have gay slurs yelled at him constantly from the fans but fans also have yelled things about players mothers passing away and inappropriate comments about players wives its just the nature of the beast

Jasmine Epps

Jason Collins coming out shouldn't make a difference to anyone. He has a right to be whatever makes him happy. As far as him waiting for ten years to tell people, I believe e just was tired of being someone he wasn't. In most cases the people you are around everyday can pretty much have an idea that you have signs of being gay. I do believe that he should have just been honest from the beginning. Now he will have to explain and answer all these unnecessary questions. I don't think him coming was to boost his career. I believe that he would have been in the dark in any career that you could have been in. People love gossip and making other people look something that they aren't. If I could have been someone to give him advice, it would be "you don't have to tell everyone that you are gay, if you are gay just embrace it don't hide it. You don't owe anyone an explanation. Stay true to you and be happy. If people question what your sexual preference tell them but keep it moving". If Jason had to hide him being gay then he had to think what he was doing was wrong.

Jasmine Epps

BrianL, your comment about Jason Collins saying he hope for the best but expect the worse I agree with you. He should care what people think or say. Use the negative and turn them into positives. If you ignore the comments and stay focus people will realize it doesn't bother you and they will find the next person to bully.


i think the fact that he was engaged is major factor into showing how hard he tried to not be different but then realized it just wasnt him

Connor H

Jason Collins decides to come out as a gay man because he is tired of holding in the truth. He wants to finally reveal the world who he really is. He has been holding in his feelings about wanting to reveal the truth about him, but has been scared about the outcome until now.

Connor H

Brian and Janet's comments are entirely true about hoping for the best but expecting the worst. The negatives are usually what really brings people down, and if he turned them into good there would be no stopping him. People need to realize how hard it is for him to do this and appreciate the fact that he was finally able to say it to the sports world.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

By signing up you agree to W. W. Norton’s
privacy policy and terms of use.

About They Say / I Blog

  • New readings posted monthly, on the same issues that are covered in “They Say / I Say” with Readings—and with a space where readers can comment, and join the conversation.

Follow us on Twitter to get updates about new posts and more! @NortonWrite

Become a Fan