GLAAD Statement on NBA Player Jason Collins Coming Out

April 29, 2013

Rich Ferraro
Vice President of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011

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NEW YORK, NY, APRIL 29, 2013 - GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization released a statement today following news that NBA center Jason Collins came out as gay in an essay appearing in the May 6th issue of Sports Illustrated. Collins' coming out makes him the first active gay male pro athlete in the history of America's major leagues.

"'Courage' and 'inspiration' are words that get thrown around a lot in sports, but Jason Collins has given both ideas a brand new context," said Aaron McQuade, head of GLAAD's sports program. "We hope that his future team will welcome him, and that fans of the NBA and sports in general will applaud him. We know that the NBA will proudly support him, and that countless young LGBT Athletes now have a new hero."

Last year, GLAAD teamed up with Athlete Ally to provide a training on LGBT issues to the NBA rookie camps. The NBA has also participated in GLAAD's Spirit Day for two years, turning the league's twitter photo purple as a symbol of support for LGBT young people and to take a stand against bullying.  

On May 11, 2013, the San Francisco Giants will become the first professional sports team to receive a GLAAD Media Award at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco.