No other name in sports is more important right now than Jason Collins, the former Washington Wizards center who made the groundbreaking decision on Monday to come out as the first openly gay and active pro athlete in a major sport.
Since coming out of the closet, Collins has been met with a watershed of praise and support from athletes and celebrities around the world, but none have been more important than that of his twin brother, retired NBA player Jarron Collins.
Jarron recently spoke with Sports Illustrated and shared his reaction to his brother coming out, and how he was unaware that his brother was gay.
“I won’t lie. I had no idea. We talked, he answered my questions, I hugged him and I digested what he had told me,” said Jarron. “At the end of the day, this is what matters: He’s my brother, he’s a great guy, and I want him to be happy. I’ll love him and I’ll support him and, if necessary, I’ll protect him.
Jarron explained that, despite what may happen in Jason’s life now that he’s out, his relationship with his brother won’t change.
“As for us, we’re still going to give each other grief. (He’s still going to be a terrible golfer; he’s still the guy who could help more with changing my kids’ diapers.) We’ll still be competitive in our way, said Jarron.
It’s great to see that Jarron is so supportive of his brother. Many times, both in the past and present, homophobia has been strong enough to tear apart even the closest of siblings, and Jarron is standing tall alongside his twin brother as proof that love and acceptance are stronger than hate and fear. And many straight men will now be able to look at Jarron as an example of how to fight against homophobia to accept and love not only the LGBT people in their families, but those that they also come across in life.
Check out some other stars who are supporting Collins as well below. –nicholas robinson