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Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors

” Imagine you’re in the oven, baking. Some of us know and accept our sexuality right away and some need more time to cook. I should know – I baked for 33 years”


Even in the Netherlands the coming out of a famous sportsman while still active, (I say man, because for lesbians it seems to be a bit easier here) is big news. Coming out can be difficult in itself, doing it in public can be even harder and becoming a role model is inevitable , but I imagine, not always their choice. I can understand some gay or lesbian sportspeople refuse to get out of their closet; they don’t want to be in the spotlight just because of their sexual orientation. They want that people talk about their achievements in sports, not about who they choose to love or live with. In an ideal world it would be like that, but it isn’t so. That’s why I think it’s incredibly brave of Jason Collins, a famous black NBA ( the basketball league in the US) player, to come out as gay. It shouldn’t be a big thing, but it is. As he himself said: ‘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”.

He also revealed that he wore the number 98 in 38 games as a silent tribute to the murder of 21-year old Matthew Shepard in 1998. Matthew was the victim of a horrific antigay hate crime, he was kidnapped, tortured and lashed on a fence. He died five days after he was found. Collins said, by putting on the jersey, he was making a statement to himself, his family and his friends.  He’s making an even bigger statement now, I hope many will follow his example. Also in the Netherlands. It’s about time…