NBA VETERAN JASON COLLINS MARCHES IN GAY PRIDE PARADE

NBA veteran Jason Collins, left,
the first active player in one of
four major U.S. professional
sports leagues to come out as
gay, marches in Boston's gay
pride parade alongside U.S. Rep.
Joe Kennedy III, a college
roommate, Saturday, June 8,
2013, in Boston. Collins said he
realized he needed to go public
when the Democratic
congressman walked in Boston's
gay pride parade last year and
Collins decided he couldn't join
him. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
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By Staff, Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — NBA veteran
center Jason Collins, the first
active athlete in one of the four
U.S. major professional sports
leagues to come out as being gay,
marched Saturday for nearly
three miles in Boston’s gay pride
parade with U.S. Rep. Joe
Kennedy III, his onetime
roommate at Stanford University.
Collins wore a T-shirt that read
(hash)BeTrue when he joined
thousands of marchers in the
parade, chatting with well-
wishers, greeting other marchers
and holding babies as people
came up to him to express their
support.
The parade also featured former
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank — the
first sitting member of Congress
to enter into a same-sex
marriage — who also represented
Massachusetts’ 4th Congressional
District before Kennedy. U.S.
Rep. Ed Markey, the Democratic
U.S. Senate candidate seeking the
seat once held by John Kerry,
who stepped down to become
secretary of state, also marched.
The parade’s grand marshal,
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino,
did not march because he is
recovering from prostate
surgery. Still, he came out of the
city-owned house to greet Collins,
Kennedy and other marchers as
they passed by.
NBA veteran Jason Collins, the
first active player in one of four
major U.S. professional sports
leagues to come out as gay,
holds 19-month-old Evangeline
Salzberg, of Bellingham, Mass.,
as he walks in Boston’s gay pride
parade, Saturday, June 8, 2013,
in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary
Schwalm)
In coming out as gay in April,
Collins wrote in an article for
Sports Illustrated that his
decision to go public came when
Kennedy marched in last year’s
parade and Collins didn’t feel
that he could join him.
He also said the Boston
Marathon bombing reinforced
the notion that things can change
in an instant, so he might as well
live truthfully.
Collins played for six teams in 12
seasons and becomes a free agent
next month. The Celtics dealt him
to the Washington Wizards in a
midseason trade.
Collins also threw out the
ceremonial first pitch at the Red
Sox game Thursday.
Kennedy said in April that he’s
proud to call Collins a friend.
Collins said at the time he
“endured years of misery and
gone to enormous lengths to live
a lie.”
RYOT NOTE: Congrats to Jason
Collins for being brave and
continuing to drive the
momentum for gay marriage in
the U.S. You can be part of the
movement too! Just click on the
gray box alongside this story to
learn more about the Human
Rights Campaign, which is
leading the fight for marriage
equality.