Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-12-11
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Obamas praise NBA player Jason Collins
2013-04-30

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


President Obama expressed his support for the decision by professional basketball player Jason Collins to come out this week in an interview with Sports Illustrated.

Obama made his comments at the end of an hour-long press conference today (Tuesday, April 30). After he had already started to exit, a reporter shouted out a question about Collins and President Obama stopped and returned to the podium.

"I had a chance to talk to him yesterday. He seems like a terrific young man, and I told him I couldn't be prouder," said the president.

"One of the extraordinary measures of progress that we've seen in this country has been the recognition that the LGBT community deserves full equality, not just partial equality, not just tolerance but a recognition that they're fully a part of the American family. And given importance of sports in our society, for an individual who has excelled at the highest levels in one of the major sports to go ahead and say, 'This is who I am. I'm proud of it, I'm still a great competitor. I'm still seven-feet tall and can bang with Shaq [O'Neal] and deliver a hard foul'—and I think for a lot of young people out there who are gay or lesbian who are struggling with these issues to see a role model like that who is unafraid it's a great thing. America should be proud that this is just one more step in this ongoing recognition that we treat everybody fairly and everybody is part of a family and we judge people on the basis of their character and their performance, and not their sexual orientation. So I'm very proud of him."

Collins, 34, plays center for the Washington Wizards basketball team, and, came out in the May 6 issue of the magazine which was posted online April 29.

"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay," said Collins. "I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different.' If I had my way someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."

The revelation made Collins the first male professional athlete in a major sport to acknowledge being gay while still actively playing his sport and it prompted a flood of conversations in the media and online social networks.

In a follow-up article with Sports Illustrated, Collins said he was stunned when he got a call from President Obama. He said the president told him, "What you did today was brave" and that "it didn't just affect me, it affected so many other people in the country."

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova became one of the first professional athletes to come out. She did so in July 1981 after being sworn in as a U.S. citizen.

"I didn't get a phone call from Ronald Reagan," quipped Navratilova, in an appearance on CNN's Piers Morgan Monday night. She said that "Madison Avenue totally shunned me" and that tennis audiences "were sitting on their hands."

"They weren't clapping when I came on the court or they were booing or jeering," she recalled. "The press was roasting me. It was not a pretty sight. I'd say it was about 95 percent against and maybe I'd get five percent of support. Now, for Jason, it's much different….It's fantastic."

Navratilova said that, unlike with athletes who are part of a team sport, her livelihood was never threatened.

"But now, for Jason,," said Navratilova, "maybe the case is different, and he may actually get more money because of it."

First Lady Michelle Obama also showed support for Collins, posting a Twitter message saying, "So proud of you, Jason Collins! This is a huge step forward for our country. We've got your back!"

© copyright 2013 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Red Stars' Ertz named Player of the Year 2019-12-13 - U.S. women's national team and Chicago Red Stars midfielder Julie Ertz has been voted the 2019 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year. ...


Gay News

Rapinoe named SI Sportswoman of the Year 2019-12-09 - Sports Illustrated magazine has named lesbian soccer player Megan Rapinoe as its Sportswoman of the Year. On July 7 in Lyon, France, the ...


Gay News

Red Stars, player launch toy drive 2019-12-06 - On Dec. 16-17, the Chicago Red Stars, in collaboration with team defender Sarah Gorden, will hold their annual toy drive for the St. ...


Gay News

Queer Kickboxing Club, Queer Meetup Chicago aim to offer safe spaces 2019-11-30 - Earlier this year, G Silverstein-Tapp was looking for safe spaces that catered to queer, trans and gender nonconforming people like themself; however, what ...


Gay News

Red Stars teammates get Player of the Year nods 2019-11-26 - Chicago Red Stars defender Julie Ertz and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher are nominated for U.S. Soccer's Female Player of the Year Award. Both Chicago ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Megan Rapinoe, 'High School Musical,' Roxane Gay, 'Paris Is Burning' 2019-11-18 - Soccer star Megan Rapinoe accepted Glamour's Woman of the Year award—another addition to her hardware collection that includes the Golden Ball award as ...


Gay News

Red Stars MVP leaving team for Europe 2019-11-13 - Sam Kerr has informed the Chicago Red Stars she will not return to the team for the upcoming 2020 National Women's Soccer League ...


Gay News

Rosemont ice rink reopens Nov. 29 2019-11-06 - Rosemont's Parkway Bank Park entertainment district will kick off the holiday season with the return of its Chicago Wolves Ice Rink on Friday, ...


Gay News

Santa Speedo Run on Dec. 7 2019-11-06 - The annual Santa Speedo Run: Boystown will take place Saturday, Dec. 7, at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted St. Sign-in and registration will start ...


Gay News

Four Red Stars named to U.S. WNT camp 2019-11-04 - Newly appointed U.S. Women's National Team ( WNT ) head coach Vlatko Andonovski has named his first roster, calling up 24 players for ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.