(Kwaku Alston/SI)

Jason Collins reveals he's encountered homophobia on the court, says it's rare

"One player, one knucklehead from another team" made derogatory comments, Collins says of the incident



Katie McDonough
March 21, 2014 9:47PM (UTC)

Jason Collins, a center for the Brooklyn Nets and the first openly gay player active in the NBA, revealed Thursday that he's encountered homophobia on the court, but says most players and coaches have been warm and accepting toward him.

"There's no need to even engage in a conversation with him at that point," Collins said of the incident, though he wouldn't name the player or his team in an interview with ESPN New York. "In the flow of the game, you have emotions going. It goes back to controlling what I can control -- having self-control and having the discipline to recognize it for what it is and keep the focus on the game.

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"We're all human. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. You hope that if someone has a negative opinion, that they would keep it to themselves. But at the same time, I understand that in the NBA, we're a bunch of individuals and this is America and everyone's entitled to their opinion."

Collins confirmed the incident in a separate interview with the New York Daily News.

"One player, one knucklehead from another team," he said. "He's a knucklehead. So I just let it go. Again, that goes back to controlling what you can control. That's how I conduct myself -- just being professional."

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But that incident was an outlier, according to Collins.

"This was the only incident," Collins told ESPN. "I don't know how many players and coaches that I've faced. It's been over 100, I would say. ... But again, the focus is on the games and our team and our next opponent."


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Basketball Gay Rights Homophobia Homophobia In Sports Jason Collins Lgbtq Rights Nba Sports

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