NBA player’s decision to come out sparks discussion nationally, locally

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Submitted: Tue, 04/30/2013 - 3:44am
Updated: Tue, 04/30/2013 - 3:20pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — “I am a 34-year-old NBA Center. I’m black, and I’m gay,” Jason Collins told Sports Illustrated in its May 6 issue. Collins is the first active, professional male athlete to be openly gay.

“Hopefully this will pave a path for many other athletes out there,” said Ryan Burris, president of Wilmington Pride, a gay activism group.

WWAY basketball analyst Brett Blizzard, a former UNCW and professional basketball player, said it doesn’t matter to him how a person identifies himself. However, he does not think Collins’s choice to come out will make it easier on others given the nature of the game.

“There is a lot of physical contact, so it’s going to be hard for players to come out. I don’t think this is necessarily going to open the flood gates,” Blizzard said.

Regardless, Blizzard says it’s the way a player performs on the court and what he brings to the team that really matters.

“His off-the-court, that’s his personal decision,” Blizzard said. “He doesn’t get paid off the court to be a certain way.”

Collins told SI, “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 am raising my hand.”

“People shouldn’t have to be scared to be who they are,” Burris said.

Fellow NBA players have come to Collins’s defense of his coming out.

“Whether there’s a free country or not, you should be free to act and do as you want to do,” Meta World Peace of the Los Angeles Lakers said.

Collins says he will march in Boston’s Gay Pride Parade June 8 with his former college roommate and Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy.


  • Guest Mechanic says:

    CCR, when in your life did someone come to you and tell you it was time to choose your sexual orientation? Probably would have happened when you picked out the color of your hair and eyes. Did they also ask if you wanted to be male or female? How about skin color and physical build? I can’t believe that anyone can be so totally ignorant as to think homosexuality is a choice. It is very disturbing that those like yourself walk among us, vote, maybe even make laws for the rest of us to follow. I assume that you are a Republican?

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …sorry you have such a difficult time facing them, as unpleasant and true as it may be. That was my whole point. You seem to have the same problem.

    He who wishes bad things on others will experience double that fate!

  • Guestish says:

    So, when did you decide that you were straight, CCR?

    Or have you?

  • WilmingtonMAJ says:

    Question CCR…when did you decide to be straight? According to your logic you could easily have sex with a person of the same sex because you would simply choose to. It wouldn’t disgust you or bother you in the least.

    As a Gay Man, I can tell you without a doubt it is not a choice. I knew since I was in early Elementary School that I was not attracted to girls. Frankly my life would be much easier if I were straight, but it’s not something I can change and it’s how things are. So to you, I would say wake up and please do join the rest of us in the 21st Century.

  • Tracie C says:

    Wait, wait , wait……CCR, so what you’re saying is, as long as they’re cheerleaders your boys can “wash with them”?? Huh. I guess in your small little world you don’t understand that there are male cheerleaders also?
    You are a SUPREME tool and I would love to know my son’s were friends with your “boys”….maybe they’d have a chance to see how a real man behaves. They sure as HELL aren’t seeing it from your narrow minded, unintelligent ass.

  • Guest2020 says:

    We all have temptations of various kinds. It is our choice whether or not to give into to those temptations. In your sinful nature, you are attracted to people of the same sex, but who you have sex with is your choice.

  • GuestBullIsht says:

    CCR, gay rights have come a long way since the Stonewall Riot. Get used to it. New Zealand recently passed marriage equality and one of its politicians, Maurice Williamson has quite brilliantly responded to his country’s religious (un)right saying:

    “The sun will still rise tomorrow… you will not have skin diseases, or rashes, or toads in your bed,” he told parliament just before New Zealand became the 13th nation globally to allow same-sex marriage.

    “The world will just carry on. So don’t make this into a big deal.”

  • Wrof..Wrof says:

    I agree I have 3 boys and I thank my God they are not gay !!!!! Gay is wrong and nasty …u can love and not have sex understand that?? If you have sex with everyone u love that would be nasty…man sleeping with man ..and woman with woman is wrong!! Now good read your book devil !

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    A true, “from the heart” response that makes more sense than any other way I’ve ever heard it stated. No anger, no bitterness, no excuses. Just fact. What you just said and the way you said it puts a whole different light on things from my viewpoint!

  • Challengetheworld says:

    Your stupidity is contagious.

  • yuyumi says:

    Jason Collins is gay! Hooray. Hooray. Hooray. (No way).

    As a gay male, I detest the label “gay.” The connotations of gay are frivolous and shallow. I refuse to use the gay label because I am not frivolous and shallow. Collins is too dumb to find any other word to describe his sexual orientation (Even queer is preferable to gay). But he’s now the poster boy for gay athletes, and he will reap lots of money for his coming out from product endorsements and teams that would not dare to refuse to recruit him because of his “gayness.”

    We have a multitude of gay intellectuals, but it’s the dumb athlete who “comes out,” and the media go nuts.

    I neither admire him nor applaud his decision.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …polish a turd! You can sand it, buff it, wax it, but the end result is what it is and what it always will be. You’re “gay”, you admit it and that isn’t going to change either.

  • CCR says:

    No….someone who wants to have sexual relationships with their own kind is off their rocker. That is abnormal and don’t tell me you were born that way. It is a decision that you make. The next thing you know we will want marriage to be human to animal. I guess God made us to have sex with possums, horses, dogs etc….I don’t call it progress in America. I call it embarrassing and hate for my children to be exposed to such digusting behavior. Hope this fad passes soon.
    I hope my children do not have boys in the dressing rooms lusting over them in the showers after their teams complete competitions.
    On the other hand, I am going to fight for my boys to be able to wash with the cheerleaders after their school games.

  • Nathan says:


    You are an ignorant, hateful bigot. You have the voice of a 13-year-old playground bully. Your trashy language is evidence of your stupidity and immaturity.

    It’s obvious that Yuyumi is immeasurably superior to you in intelligence and character.

    Better watch that raw anger. It can cause cancer cells to mutate.

  • KarmaILM says:

    We all know whats coming for you CCR. “Dad?” “Yes son” “I’d like you to meet my boyfriend Charles”

  • Monkey Junction says:

    That may be the dumbest post in the history of this board and that is saying quite a lot.

  • Nuts says:

    A “fad”? You dont want your children exposed to it? How do you know your children arent gay? And if they are??? You say you choose the be gay….which obviously means you chose to be straight…which means one day you thought of being gay, but chose to be straight. Why would any of us homoseuxuals choose to be gay? Its a much harder life than being straight, trust me. So I am sorry there are people like you in this world, esp since you have children. BTW being gay isnt all about just having sex…just like being straight isnt all about just having sex either. Open your mind….but I am afraid for you its too late.

  • liberdee says:

    You are so narrow mined. Your attitude and views are discusting. Yes, they are born that way. I’m not even gay, and I find your outlook shallow and disgusting. Maybe it’s natures way of controlling the population…. who knows. Let people love who they love and stay out of it. Every one looks at gayness about sex. It’s not about the sex, it’s about love. We are free to love any human being that we want to. Now shut up and go read your bible!

  • Ryan Lee Burris says:

    Really? Mr. Blizzard…. Yes, It’s a very physical game, but he is a 12 year veteran….. So all of a sudden, he is going to lose his ability to be physical? Because he is gay?

  • Guestsfndi says:

    He said “There is a lot of physical contact”. Meaning all the other homophobic players wont want to touch him just incase the gayness is contagious.

  • Guest Mechanic says:

    I see no reason why this man’s sexual orientation should spark any discussion anywhere. I am straight, but have accepted the fact that some are different. Nothing to discuss.

  • Guest3130 says:

    Your ignorance is astounding. Your comparison of human-to-human, and human-to-animal, is thoughtless. The difference is that in the first instance, it is two ADULT, CONSENTING PEOPLE. Get that? Two people – adults – and CONSENTING.

  • Guest Reply says:

    For those of you that are ricocheting off the living room walls over this after reading the story (if you care)…stop and ask yourself…”So What?”
    I swear…one of these days, the next time my neighbors cat takes a crap in my yard…I’m calling the News Media and demand coverage!

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