Just a few weeks after he made history by signing with the Brooklyn Nets and becoming the first openly gay NBA player in history, Jason Collins has revealed that he’s been the target of antigay comments.
In an interview with the New York Daily News, he speaks openly about being confronted with taunts by another NBA player, but stops short of mentioning the name of the player or which team he plays for.
“One player, one knucklehead from another team. He’s a knucklehead. So I just let it go. Again, that goes back to controlling what you can control. That’s how I conduct myself just being professional.”
Collins is about to start a stretch of games with the Nets in so-called “Bible Belt” cities like Dallas, New Orleans and Charlotte, but when pressed by the Daily News about any potential nervousness surrounding the reaction of fans in those states, he reiterates that you “can’t control what other people do” and moves on from the conversation.
Collins is certainly a bigger man than we are. We would take the first opportunity to publicly shame anyone who has the balls to be antigay in 2014.
Still, Collins is a pioneer, and with that comes the added pressure of performing on the court while taking great pains not to make the wrong headlines off of it.
His presence is an inspiration to many, so good for him for taking the high road…for now.