OUT­SPO­KEN

FRIENDS & FOES IN THEIR OWN WORDS

GA Voice - - News -

“I’m a 34-year-old NBA cen­ter. I’m black. And I’m gay. … If I had my way, some­one else would have al­ready done this. No­body has, which is why I’m rais­ing my hand.” — NBA vet­eran Ja­son Collins of the Wash­ing­ton Wiz­ards, com­ing out in the May 6 is­sue of Sports Il­lus­trated. Collins be­comes the first gay ath­lete in ma­jor U.S. men’s pro­fes­sional sports to come out dur­ing his ca­reer. (Sports Il­lus­trated, re­leased on­line April 29) “I think Amer­ica should be proud that this is just one more step in this on­go­ing recog­ni­tion that we treat ev­ery­body fairly, and ev­ery­body’s part of a fam­ily, and we judge peo­ple on the ba­sis of their char­ac­ter and their per­for­mance, and not their sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion.”

— Pres­i­dent Obama, ex­plain­ing why he is “very proud” of Ja­son Collins. Obama called Collins the day he came out. (CNN, April 30) “Now that Ja­son Collins has come out, he is the prover­bial ‘game-changer.’ One of the last bas­tions of ho­mo­pho­bia has been chal­lenged. How many LGBT kids, once clos­eted, are now more likely to pur­sue a team sport and won’t be scared away by a straight cul­ture?”

— Ten­nis star Martina Navratilova, who came out as a les­bian in 1981, in a first-per­son es­say re­act­ing to Ja­son Collins’ an­nounce­ment. (Sports Il­lus­trated, April 29) rights in France (Right Wing Watch, April 17) “If you’re openly liv­ing in un­re­pen­tant sin ... that’s walk­ing in open re­bel­lion to God and to Je­sus Christ.”

— ESPN NBA com­men­ta­tor Chris Brous­sard, com­ment­ing on Ja­son Collins dur­ing the net­work show “Out­side the Lines.” (ESPN, April 29) “We re­gret that a re­spect­ful dis­cus­sion of per­sonal view­points be­came a dis­trac­tion from to­day’s news. ESPN is fully com­mit­ted to di­ver­sity and wel­comes Ja­son Collins’ an­nounce­ment.” — ESPN, apol­o­giz­ing for Chris Brous­sard’s com­men­tary. Brous­sard has also is­sued a state­ment clar­i­fy­ing that his per­sonal views will pre­vent him from re­port­ing on the NBA and he be­lieves Collins “dis­played brav­ery.” (ESPN, April 29)

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