Jason Collins, a Role Model for Other Athletes - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Jason Collins, a Role Model for Other Athletes

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"I'm different."

Jason Collins, a 34-year-old center in the NBA, revealed the secret that makes him different.

Today, Collins became the first athlete actively playing in a major American team sport to openly admit to being gay.  His announcement came in the wake of the bombing at the Boston Marathon.  Collins, realizing that he may never get the "perfect" moment to deliver his message, decided that he needed to speak the truth now.

Collins' demonstration is revolutionary and it has the potential to have a lasting impact on athletes of all ages.

Allie Deford, the co-president of University of Evansville PRIDE, which stands for People Respecting Individual Diversity Everywhere, believes that Collins will become a role model for other athletes who are living with a secret.

"This one athlete coming out could make a lot of other athletes come out," said Deford, "and, if a lot of other athletes come out, then a lot more students who are athletes, like college age kids or high school age kids, could have the chance to come out.  It is opening up so many opportunities for so many different people."

NBA Commissioner David Stern saw Collins' admittance as an opportunity to show his support for the former Washington Wizards' center.  He said that he is "proud" of the leadership qualities that Collins is demonstrating in relation to this "very important issue."

Collins is currently a free agent but he hopes to be resigned so that he can compete in his 13th NBA season next year.

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