Collins announcement was timed for maximum effect. There are a large number of people who, 'only watch the NBA at playoff time, now watching the NBA. The issue will be discussed on every one of the 400 ESPN basketball shows, and every show on TBS, TNT, and NBA TV. Every major network had a segment on Collins announcement. Twitter got Collins on blast. Tweets of support are being tallied by Bill Clinton, "I'm proud to call Jason Collins a friend." Ellen DeGeneres, "I'm overwhelmed by your bravery, Jason, & sending so much love." And many more!
This is an international news story. Professional basketball is played in almost every European country, Asia and the Middle East. If those leagues didn't know they could get their hands on a seven-footer with 12 years NBA experience, they do now.
Collins is getting a two-fer. We've never had an "out" gay man play any American team sport so coming out is historic and heroic. But we're also talking about a guy nearing the end, some might say at the end, of a 12 year NBA career. Collins stats compare with guys like, Kurt Nimphius, Blair Rasmussen and Nenad Krstic. I never heard of them, either.
*According to a report by the Williams Institute at UCLA, every U.S. state has increased in its support for same-sex marriage, with an average increase of 13.6 percent, and if the public opinion trends continue at the same pace, eight additional states will be above 50 percent support by the end of next year.
*A POLITICO and George Washington University survey found that, out of 1,000 likely voters, 40 percent of respondents said they support marriage equality, while 30 percent said they supported civil unions.
*Civil Unions between gay couples in Colorado will be legal starting Wednesday, seven years after the legislature passed a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Remember when the debate was about being gay? Now its whether gay people, whom we now presumably accept, should get married!
Five years ago, about the time Amaechi came out, no able NBA player could have revealed their orientation. Now, thanks to changing attitudes, there might be a few teams willing to see if Collins can still play or even give him the benefit of the doubt because being the first is a box office draw. It's great news about Collins coming out party, but just remember, like any other American, Collins has self-interest at heart as well.