Basketball’s Jackie Robinson moment: NBA center comes out as black

30 Apr

WASHINGTON—in a moment long awaited by civil-rights supporters, Washington Wizards center Jason Collins today announced that he is indeed African-American.

In an essay published yesterday in Sports Illustrated, Collins wrote: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”

The declaration was met with general support. “I’ve been saying for a while that it’s time we had an African-American in the league,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “We wish Jason all the best.”

Teammates were positive on Collins’s decision to step forward. “To be honest, I’ve suspected he was black for a while now,” said one teammate, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It’s an open secret that a lot of guys in the NBA are as well.”

Most fans expected that Collins’s declaration would have little effect on the league. “To be honest, an announcement like this is long overdue,” said Wizards fan Dave McClellan of Arlington, VA. “I mean, who cares?”

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