We’ve been talking a lot about fearlessness on The TIG of late – of being brave, of keeping it real. So when my friend, Benita, said I had to meet her friend, J, I found it was serendipitous that she was talking about Jason Collins. The 7-foot-tall basketball player (who’s played for the Nets and Celtics) made headlines (and history) last year when he announced (on the cover of Sports Illustrated, no less), that he is gay. This made him the first openly gay athlete not only in the NBA, but also in any major sport in the US.
Collins decided to pave the way in order to “promote tolerance, acceptance and understanding,” as he told Sports Illustrated in his now infamous first-person article last November. Since the issue’s release last year, Collins has been named a pioneer in Time’s Most Influential People issue and has been lauded both by the press and supporters for standing up for gay and human rights. In that pivotal moment, in his decision to openly live his truth, this Stanford grad became a role model for an entire generation -both athletes and beyond.
After exchanging a few emails, we finally met at The Elton John AIDS Foundation gala in New York. There he was, in a beautiful tuxedo, standing taller than anyone in the room. And while his height has something to do with that from a practical standpoint, its really his unbridled spirit that makes him appear head and shoulders above the rest. What an absolute pleasure it is to feature Jason Collins on today’s TIG Talk.
- My nickname is: Twin.
- The first thing I do when I wake up is: Take my vitamins.
- I can’t live without: My iPhone.
- If I had one week to escape: I would go someplace tropical.
- If I only had $10 in my pocket: I would go to In-n-Out.
- Everything tastes better with: Limes.