The sports world woke up to a pleasant surprise this morning, as NBA center Jason Collins announced to the world that he was only homosexual and pays basketball. The news sent waves through the sports community as Collins becomes the first openly gay player to come out during their careers. Players and fans have already poured out support for Collins on Twitter and other social media, and reporters everywhere are covering the story with grace and respect.
NBA Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement Monday morning regarding Collins announcement:
“As Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family. Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue.”
-NBA Commissioner David Stern
In an otherwise tumultuous reign, this is a crowning bright spot for Stern, as his announcement was quick, it was respectful but more importantly it was sincere. Knock David Stern all you want, and believe me I do, but he does know his players and he does respect them and the fact that one coming out as openly gay doesn’t effect his level of professionalism or respect for them is outstanding.
There will be those who disagree with Collins’ lifestyle, but overall the reaction to Collins being the first active and openly gay pro athlete has been amazing. We’re just at the start of this wave, but people are being mature about it and when David Stern is mature about something, that’s a fantastic feat.