From a standing ovation in L.A. to fans chanting his name in Brooklyn, Jason Collins received an incredible amount of support from the basketball community as the first openly out NBA player. But despite the fact that the majority of the community encouraged his bravery to publicly come out, Collins experienced some negative comments. He recently spoke about the negative experiences he had during his first month with the Brooklyn Nets. Collins learned to disregard the negative comments and embrace the positive. He shared his experiences yet keeping the identity of the player anonymous.
“One player, one knucklehead from another team,” Collins said in an interview with the Daily News. “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.”
“I hope this shows all players that you can still have your life off the court and not have to hide anything. And still have your life on the court or on the field or on the ice, I guess, in hockey. That’s a credit to my teammates and the entire Nets organization from ownership to coaching to teammates to everyone.”
“As an individual, as a person, as a human being, you have a lot of different hats that you wear,” he said. “Whether you’re an athlete or a human being trying to empower and help others. I’m trying to, again, empower and help others any way that I can.”
Collins is ready to face the challenges that being an openly out athlete can bring. He will join the Nets to play on the road as they leave to play in Dallas, New Orleans and Charlotte.