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Saturday, October 5, 2013

AS TRAINING CAMPS BEGIN, GAY NBA PLAYER JASON COLLINS DOESN'T HAVE ANYONE TO PLAY FOR


Jason Collins was enthusiastically cheered last weekend by thousands of sports fans for his status as an openly gay pro basketball player.

But the cheers were not coming from the crowd at an NBA game, they were from a baseball crowd at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles on a special LGBT night. Collins threw out the first pitch.

While the 34-year-old veteran has been treated like a celebrity since his very public coming out on the cover of Sports Illustrated last April, no NBA team has shown interest in having him join their roster.

The teams returned to action in training camps this week and Collins, a free agent, had still not received the call he was hoping for all summer long.

The 2013-14 season begins later this month. Collins can still be called by a team up until the league's trade deadline in February.

Unless that happens, he will not have the historic distinction of being the first active openly gay NBA player. But Collins will still be part of a very exclusive group since retired NBA player John Amaechi is the only other man to have played in the league to later come out as gay.

'The unpleasant truth about Collins' job prospects is that several teams don't think he can make a telling on-court contribution any more ... and felt that way long before his announcement,' ESPN.com's Mark Stein writes in a column this week.

Collins had just completed the season playing for the Boston Celtics then the Washington Wizards when his story went public. He was a free agent who had played in only 38 games the entire season.

In the days after his coming out, Collins received a call with congratulations from President Barack Obama and did several high-profile television interviews including one with Oprah Winfrey.

Amid all of the hoopla, he continued to train and wait for a team to add him to their roster.

'I know that at this point in my career, you remain hopeful that there’s a job and an opportunity waiting for you once teams start to fill out their rosters,' he told The New York Times last summer.

Collins had not been a starter for the last six years and had become accustomed to waiting until the late summer to find out the next season's assignment - but he had never done so as a celebrity.

Stein speculates that this celebrity is what might be partly working against Collins right now.


He writes: 'Having Collins on the roster from Day 1 turns media day into Jason Collins day and creates an undeniable distraction in October at a time when obsessive coaches don't want to think about anything other than reinforcing the ins and outs of their offensive and defensive systems.'

SOURCE: GAY STAR NEWS

4 comments:

  1. At first it seemed like he is being shunned because he is Gay, and in part he is but not so much because he is Gay but all of the attention her has bought to himself as a result of coming out, and the distraction it causes due to his celebrity status as a Gay man coming & being a NBA player. This send a bad message to any other person in sports that wants to come out in the public's eye to think twice before taking that step. It could mark the beginning of the end of a good career. Most other gays in sport wait til they retire to make that announcement. That might have been the best way for them but does nothing to help the gay community. I have nothing but admiration & respect for Jason Collins

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    Replies
    1. yeah I know what you mean, but someone has to take the heat if there's to be change, right?

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