WEEI>On Demand>>Jason Collins becomes first active pro athlete to announce he's gay

Jason Collins becomes first active pro athlete to announce he's gay

Apr 29, 2013|

Former Celtic and current NBA free agent Jason Collins announced to the world he is gay, making him the first athlete in a major pro sport to do so in America. Mut and Merloni react.

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Butler and ID 37 WEEI your phone calls at 61777979837. Can text us. -- TT tech slide 37937. There was speculation. Couple months ago the first special athlete here in North America was ready to come forward and talk about their sexuality and tell the world that they were gay and that is happened. With Sports Illustrated this week I'm looking at the covered SI and it says the gay athlete in the gay athletes former Celtic. Got a cup of coffee with a scheme Jason Collins. Quote on the cover of SI say it in set out to be the first openly gay athlete a major American team sport. But since Siam I am happy to start the conversation and that SI dot com. Has already posted. Their story outline and how to reaction to. How -- Got the interview process by armed talent will get to an agent. Has come out and written to SI dot com saying Jason Collins and inspiration to a Saul. And as he writes in the story it's gonna appear in this week's issue. I'm a 34 year old NBA senator I'm black and gay written by Jason Collins in this week's Sports Illustrated. It was really not a matter of if but when here right -- where an athlete came forward. And announces that he is gay. And Jason Collins becomes the first that I played for six proteins appeared in two NBA finals. Ever heard of the parlor game three degrees of Jason Collins in the league. And I haven't been your teammate I'm surely been one of your teammates teammates one of your teammates teammates teammates -- of freeagent literally and figuratively. Averaged an inevitable state in life which I can do pretty much what I want. What I want to do is continue to play basketball. I still of the game and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that at the same time I wanna be genuine and authentic and truthful. Why am -- coming out now. Let's start thinking about in 2011. During the play NBA player lockout. A creature of routine on a regular season ends -- immediately dedicate myself getting game ready for the opener the next campaign that fall. But the locked out wreaked Havoc on my habits of forced me to confront who I really am and what I really want. With this season delayed I trained and worked out by a lack the distraction at basketball had. And always provided and that is part of today. When printed out about a five page story here today were Jason Collins comes out. And tells you his story about being a gay athlete what led him to wanting to announce this. Those -- to recent letter to this journey what's your exit when I was younger did women even gotten -- -- you live a certain way authority to marry a woman raised it to tell myself the -- was red. But I always knew was blue I don't know of this that is. College roommate at stamper was Joseph Kennedy congressman Joseph Kennedy. You know that Agassi talked element and Joel told me it marks into Boston's 2012 gay pride parade. Says I'm sell them jealous of balls but hearing. What Joseph had done. Building with envy those proud and participating bit angry that as a closet gay man it couldn't even cheer my straight friends on as a spectator by head I would been questioned. On what a shame to have little lines celebration of pride I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore. Or much for tolerance acceptance and understanding. -- sand -- -- to. We talked to -- recently finally did -- column. And reduce grateful that Joseph gratefully trust in the minutes and 2013 -- remarks on June 8 you know. Good for Jason Collins had this is to talk about courage. Then this is a god has been in the league now for some time this is Doc Rivers talking about Jason calls his time here great chemistry guy he'd literally is one of the best guys. I've ever had the locker room player or coach he's just honest he's honest the coaching staff when he sees -- honestly the players. A player will complain about something -- told the truth a lot of guys don't wanna hear the truth. I'll love to have -- time ironically that -- considers him he's honest he's honest with players. He tells them the truth the president wanna hear it here's a guy that lived his whole life not honest with himself. So. I applaud Jason Collins for doing what he did for coming out and living his life he also said that what happened in in the bombing of basically the marathon. Kind of he made him look himself -- At like can change in a heartbeat you know contest any moment -- -- -- Causing you to go wanna live -- -- things can change an instant why not live truthfully -- what's his thoughts about the bombing and people have questions about. You know how long of people around him know. He didn't come out until his twin brother until last summer. Just got 34 years old 33 years of his life he'd never told his brother was -- He said it did it eat is reaction in my breakfast revelation was radically different from my not. -- and he has his reaction was not earlier in the story he was downright astounded he says. He never suspected. So much for twin telepathy. But by dinner that night Collins wrote he was full of brotherly love for the first time our lives he wanted to step in and protect me. Any goes so that the right there tells you. You know how how how must that be a live your life like that we can tell your brother. Play in the league with few widget when he played at Stanford with them you waited for sale 33 years of age before you told him. And he was asked about why not come out sooner -- loyalty to his team was the real reason -- -- signed a free agent contract with Boston last July. I decided to commit myself to the Celtics and not let my personal life become a distraction. When I was traded to the wizards the political significance of coming out sunk -- I was ready to open up to the press but I had to wait until the season was over. College classmate try to persuade me to come out then and there I couldn't. My one small gesture of solidarity was to Wear number 98 with the Celtics that what the wizards. The number is great significance in the gay community the most notorious anti gay hate crimes occurred in 1998 when Matthew Shepard. University of Wyoming student was kidnapped tortured and lashed. To a prairie friends he died five years five days after when he's finally found. That same year that Trevor project was founded and so he says they wore number 98. As. His one sort of omen to the gay community but was willing to come out. And you wanna come out the with the Celtics -- wizards because he knew what type of reaction this was gonna -- knew this would be a national story. The first athlete to come out he says the reason which was a free agent. Was because that loyal to the Celtics into the wizards. It wanna be a distraction. To his teammates. I just think come brave courageous everything every one of those words always talk about you know people said before you know what. The first player to come out you know what type of player I would be more accepted or -- Burst of anybody -- wanna live a lie right live like that. But -- you look at Jason called cuts in the league for twelve years. Guy that when he was year or Yuri heard comets that talk told you about what Doc Rivers said about Jeff referred -- -- teammates the way they've talked about -- play with New Jersey. He's played with Memphis Minnesota Atlanta Boston Washington. A lot of players in the early days of Jason Kyle yeah a lot of players in this league to be -- played with Jason Collins or by playing against him have friends that played with them. Know the type of person he is the type of teammate years. Perfect. Right well respected guy. Whereas a lot people look at him who's the first guy was the first guy what's a guy that I play with that was one of the best teammates ever played with. So different. It's great. For him you said brave courageous all those words underline and -- to be the first person. The step forward and admit that they are gay professional sports in our country that takes a lot of -- Lou I mean to be able to sit down. And tell your story Sports Illustrated. And explain. You know why it why nearly all 33 years tell your brother. You know -- and tell your teammate -- and tell people around the NBA and -- live with this the first. This is the first of of many. And and what this whole will do in terms of letting people feel like they can be open. And be okay with this. Publicly not and I feel like -- -- professional sport and -- is tension. Collins all the do as a professional athlete in the NB day. There's not enough credit not a -- late for Jason Collins to come forward and recognized on the freeagent. People are going to -- Some -- look at me differently now but I wanna live my life how I've always lived it personally. And not have two different lies my my professional life in the NBA and my private life here and and it's. I have for Jason Collins I don't say it was like you know the perfect perfect guy because I don't make it sound like if you're not the perfect -- -- you shouldn't. Right I think that a lot you you'll hear more names now. Because you you should come right nobody wants to live a lie -- -- a perfect guy he's a free agent right now I think people will look at them. Bill don't know that became open at the same point the realized what type of teammate and the reputation that he is created for himself in this league and respect that mean you respect him even more for this. So. It's tough to say perfect guy I don't wanna come office all. If if if if your rookie or fewer college should note you share it but I think this -- bodies for a lot of people now who were were dealing with same thing he's dealt with. Very brave and the stories they'll would SI dot com will continue kind of -- with Steve Buckley. Is gonna join us at 1215 here today baucus had i.'s own. Coming out in the Boston Herald a couple years ago and will get. Us Steve's reaction will get your reaction as you hear the Jason Collins story today region more a Leo tell Sports Illustrated the first professional athlete our country. -- to come forward and announce that he's game 6177797937. Can Texas ATT tech line. 379837. It's -- in -- ninety -- Butler not -- 37 WEEI Sports Illustrated their cover this week. Jason Collins becoming the first professional athlete. On the four major sports here our country to come out. And talk about a sexuality as a 34 year old game man in the NBA he's a free agent wants to keep playing basketball. In hopes to do that next year and you know I'm sure is a veteran big man don't find space on some team. Help the Celtics limited minutes of the wizards and he wants to play my guess is will be back in the NBA next year and he's in shape and he's healthy. And good to go. In terms of the effect nationally. -- he becomes in a way I think it spokes not a spokesperson but it makes it easier for people who are. Are living their life. Additionally they want to you in a private life Republican and feel like because the sports but have to hide certain things hopefully this is going to be that avenue for them to come out. I hope we'll talk to Steve Buckley at 1215 mix and all your phone calls at 6177797937. Jerry is in Natick Gerri good morning. I don't know I -- So I don't bite my response you know what might you know my response are spot on you know. -- I would reported that everybody. Whether it -- Tiger Woods. That's a man nor you know anyone the number of production not to applaud and -- -- Should be pregnant -- are you concerned that are brought to bear that may force palatable to make their title not by the and then yeah I think that's really bought that all of our opening up dialogue yeah. I just -- started dialogue Gerri I agree with that yes. So I think the broad question I want stay out of -- but I think Odom questions as much credit Iowa and it got. Any of heterosexual. Player at how much actual player -- -- And comfortable now in the situation where I know. I'm going to be naked in front of that I sure I'll let them and I don't want to. A comfortable for me. Why should player bringing. Attention for -- player. And why. Should not load tournament. To me. That. Just speaks of if you aren't comfortable and you know the player. I don't know I just look at as uneducated and ignorant mean to be perfectly honest with you. And here's what I remember. As a different situation as. Sexual orientation. -- our orientation. Or eight you know why aren't. -- at. An event all of backs and why why I had a track to another and -- really like -- professional -- -- -- you know great. We don't like it because there are actually Clinton and beat them they're cute guy that remain act. Geithner there are still a possibility. Of being -- actual action across the outline and equipment somebody else uncomfortable. Legitimate and we acknowledged that. And so -- regret that. If Nokia I agree with you -- -- -- by defiant as far as the guy's feelings OK a five for example. Play in front of one of my teammates was getting OK at first it's kind of like you know you're like OK but I don't think. Then I would get -- appoint where -- I don't -- shower with this Jackson Gillick look at -- OK I'm sorry it wouldn't be up to the -- guide the team it. The players that we never thought you'd be a popcorn pop but there are unsure what happened and change. Might try to play with a alternate so we. Are being pro active template I would -- your doctor now aren't we handle. Well this is why you'd they're the -- ailing Jason calls -- case that comes out. The strength that he shows in it and communicating if he feels that guys are comfortable come talk to me about it. And -- will discuss. Not Jason Collins openly in a guy's face all the time things trying to make it a comfortable and different story may be OK just this I respect you as a team in a player cheered sexual orientation fine but I'd I'd. I just don't think it's gonna be initial -- if somebody comes out. And says you know I refused to -- what this team I think he takes more heat the anybody in this situation. Well he is Jerry asked the question you know why why can't -- just live his life privately you know when you read the Jason Collins -- becomes evident. He's lived his life a way. Where he's hid his life from his life for his brother. For Theo Toledo 33 his life for every guy reply in the NBA he admits in the story's not at time rightness. He not come out to anybody in the NBA and wants to. The able to. Live his life without the stress he talks about the stress and the energy it took to hide. This porch of his wife and just wants to live and not worry about -- do people most about me. I expect -- hell out of that will be the first male happy to come forward and say yup this is why am I'm an MBA player on the day I'll play the MBA -- receive. But we would join us here a little bit you know -- talk to a lot about this. On in he's talking about guys he'd interviewed. You know when there's other athletes -- at the college level. And talked them vote them sitting there and picking blending their life because of this because they to a comfortable coming on how to be received. So to say that you know it's his personal life just keeps things inside that is the problem -- you know I don't I don't know. When a gay man -- -- trying to you know keep it from everybody. You constantly hear the stories of the stress of the pressures. Of trying to keep it from people. You know -- buck has many stories of people these interview before thinking of committing suicide because of the that is not something you keep inside that something that you need to get out need to talk about seeking to feel free and live your life. The quick break welcome back Steve but you'll join us next hour your phone calls you guys stacked up at 617. 77979837. -- and -- Sports Radio. -- -- ID 37 WEEI. Would get into some NFL draft thoughts later on this hour. Red Sox -- the best record in baseball they heard me right the Red Sox of the best record in baseball. On April -- -- -- in the some Red Sox weakening of the hapless off. Houston Astros. I feel a lot more after a lot better about my prediction that -- three teams out of the AL west make in the playoffs. It's -- eighteen games to get the plague -- start the really suck yet we have injuries are taken over. We trade a couple good players and what you have a good theory about this that the bad teams early in the year unity wanna play them to go sort of feel good about themselves when it baseball team gets to. June July August September and they -- They are really sucked the last four months you -- long went from neutral reform we are talking right now about the Jason Collins -- you missed it Jason Collins is the cover story in feature in this week's Sports Illustrated 34 years of age coming out saying I'm black. I'm thirty out of 34 year old NBA -- and black. And -- game become the first male athlete in this country to come out. And talk about their sexuality and getting your reaction to that and we'll talk to Steve Buckley up ten minutes from now blocked came out. April and his 2011. That they write it and running I apologize January -- figured out it doesn't them. And we'll talk the book about the Jason Collins story today get his reaction. The caller is saying why is yet to keep it. You like to keep this to himself. There's a lot of bravery of all the counts because he goes back and placed next year look not everyone is going to be like a it's great is going to be. It it's in the stands yelling slurs and stuff and there'll be teammates that just -- -- the word ignorant mean there are those who use the religious beliefs and say I just don't. God tells me not to agree with that so this recent difficult -- Jason Collins knows that you know well snows that is Doc Rivers. Doc was asked about this. A couple weeks ago actually we're at the time or magic Johnson's son -- -- goes on TMZ. The subject a bit hot discussion. Doc was asked before practice on April ninth. But the potential impact in the NBA player came out -- openly gay. Rivers then drew a comparison to Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball and major professional sports in 1947 quote from the -- The -- a lot of talk about it that'll go away rivers said it's interesting as the team. I took the team received 42 on Monday there's lot of talk and then all of a sudden everyone starts playing at the same thing will happen. That's the way I look I was Doc Rivers being asked about that just a couple weeks ago. What they edit the compares is a good one missed in net. A guy from. -- Jackie had to go through was more than it was more you represented obviously too but the temperament that he had. The current city had. Do not you know deal with. I'll see back then what he went to by no means like compared. Yet Jason calls going through what would Jackie Robinson and -- fill it. Kerry did in the morning the day in it's just not it's not the same but the courage. And bravery is the same. Absolutely. Marks in Cambridge. We give back your phone call 61777979837. Market afternoon. Afternoon guys. Quick thing but it hurts their. Thank you wouldn't they shouldn't war everything that you did. And so. The bombing was amazing therapeutic thank you very. Thanks to listen mark we really appreciate. One quick point about -- Bill Russell who it might say great athlete for a whole bunch of reasons. Who you may remember which of course. NBA head coach who would black. -- -- And black coaches will be accepted it won't be a beat England to -- become a black coach when it's okay collapsed fail. That point was. You know it's great that I come out not done well and and I succeeded in people can look at -- -- black but he succeeded. He -- It won't mean anything it will be a -- saying when. A black person can -- being -- terrible meaning -- So it's wonderful. And I think that with Oprah Oprah you know a process. It's wonderful that when you talk about rates and call and you can talk about him in such glowing terms. In terms of the kind link he was -- people like him. But some day it'll be OK for. Adapting -- written to be gay. It's okay now prepared to be bad black NBA coaches. So I think that this is great I think that it is a process but I. I just wanna make a point everybody the next time you find out that someone is gay who isn't. I Jason call and who who got beat bad features you'd never say those big old but he straight. And -- the bad cold. It just a quick -- Well and it'll it'll of eight and Jason Collins mark maybe you'd agree hear him coming forward and telling his story will allow. That big you -- bad teammate yelled solar weather next month or next year. Whenever that but that's right there are really good point because that's what some player but everybody that's why didn't pay for. That a lot of people would that would protect the I told you so. And embed the stupid argument what would Q school. Marked next year call that really appreciate Jason Collins -- -- -- 34 hours ago tweeted out. Lake golf for the first time since October on Sunday I broke a hundred had a birdie great way to relax before the start of a big week. I think now you can kind of understand wanting you to go relax and started a big week how many Twitter followers have right now. That your on old boat 101500 sort of they with 3300. That more and announced his pick -- Jackson Dover Jack -- put much -- here on 937. I I thought that that that callable pour this on top. Don't be ignorance and -- it would which which people speak sometime that kind of got -- burning inside you know it to blow my mind. That that I would say that Jason Collins should keep that private life -- bit like Tiger Woods and other actually shut. Another -- that I basically what's in there that. The -- view me tiger -- it stopped all players not about should be allowed to go in public with our girlfriends -- wives. We should never be able to go to a grocery store. That I was saying basically compared -- in that Jason Collins should not let anybody know he's today he would never be able to live a normal life. Which is significant other and it blew my mind that fact I would say -- -- say Tiger Woods and other athletes. It basically -- nobody should be allowed to go out in public can be seeing. Nobody should be able talked to their coworkers bullets going on their life you know when she be able to. You know have their private life -- part of there you know of their normal life harpercollins I -- to Jack the idea. That he should just sit there and up to 34 years not tell anyone -- feel like he's afraid to tell anyone is ridiculous and I but the caller before I. I'll be happy we get to a point down the road where this is not a big story in the -- athletes feel like they can live. Their lives privately and publicly in the NBA off the court. The same way and Jason Collins is courage and bravery. Allow players to -- that and Kobe Bryant tweeting up -- cones don't suffocate who you are because of ignorance of others. -- stick courage -- tech support. It's -- greater things between you know as I agree it's. Proud to abort Jason calls this year great guy will be prouder when this issue becomes less who is in more who cares. Because you know it. One more -- -- It got a little I predict I talk about the such cowards and how we should feel sorry for the other athletes and -- -- loop. -- high school and you know tried a little bit in college but I think -- all this week. -- -- their ignorance and it sure would be comfortable I don't she chasing Colin. Trying to hit every athlete in that -- let me which should be ignorant to the other people. And could come and that -- are up but I thought that bothered me also all because I don't really feel sorry for those other types. Yes it's that they I can only speak to myself. And and listen if I was on a team and one of my players came out during the season or -- to fall when year. You know walk up to the guy you know listen it's a player that I know nothing nothing. Would change and how I feel about the guy. Not one thing would change. Gay because I'd be a team and I would show -- support. I would stand by him. That -- I will be talking about the player and the -- -- and opera was that he of the covering Tacoma I hate leaving give any credence the -- -- -- -- this I don't agree with them a lot these days but. He makes a point goal will be the original story and SI dot com already as thousands the comments. Go read through some of those comments and and wonder why we're talking about this -- in using words like brave. And -- when it comes to decent talent there are plenty of people plenty. But don't agree with the way he feels the way he lives his life and are happy going a public forum. Like SI dot com that's where that commenting on and those comments and glad that exporters down too because. Who knows with some of those people have gone there. And I mean this is these are these are real people here bright and some of these -- Trolls and they're trying to get arise that nobody else other people believe some of the stuff they're they're putting in that comments section and knows the people that are going to be paying tickets. The -- he can't play or any professional athlete comes out says he's gay and that's go read through some of that you know and if your if your parent don't like your kids. Read some of the stuff causes a lot of it's not appropriate quite frankly. But when he when you wonder why is this a story like -- talking about this. Or read through some of that and and look at what Jason Collins is going to be dealing with now is cannot as an openly gay athlete the NBA and -- by the way of freeagent. What's the Bakken play next year. 92 break AJ Christian how we get to all your phone calls Steve Buckley. Would join us in ninety seconds from now he came out the Boston Herald it came on with the decline -- talked about it here on WEEI in his -- Plate and keeping clauses in the sun to come out we'll talk to buck ninety seconds gave his take on the Jason Collins story that's next.

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