Sporting a T-shirt for Nike's "#BeTrue" campaign, Jason Collins made good on his promise to march in Boston's Gay Pride parade on Saturday afternoon.
The 34-year-old NBA center marched in the parade with Massachusetts congressman Joe Kennedy and thousands of others, who all came out to support the LGBT community's fight for cultural equality. Kennedy, Collins' roommate at Stanford, tweeted out a picture of himself, Collins and two others during the event:
Here is Collins preparing with his old roommate prior to the event, via his Twitter feed:
The Boston parade, organized by BostonPride.org, is a yearly event that allows people from all walks of life—gay or straight—to come out and celebrate the cause. Boston Pride also holds a festival accompanying the parade.
Collins came out as a gay man publicly for the first time in a first-person story written for Sports Illustrated in April. With that decision, Collins became the first openly gay male athlete in any of the United States' four major professional sports leagues (NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB).
In his first-person narrative, which covers his journey from being engaged to a woman to personal acceptance of who he is, Collins noted what a pivotal moment this parade would be for him. The 12-year NBA veteran spoke of his jealousy and envy of Kennedy, who is not gay, openly walking in last year's parade.
In coming out, Collins noted that he can finally be free to walk in these parades and preach acceptance without the undying glare of public speculation.
"I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding," Collins wrote. "I want to take a stand and say, 'Me, too.'"
Collins also wrote of how the Boston Marathon bombings played a large role in opening his sexuality to the public. He spoke of how that singular event, which killed three citizens in April, created a live-for-the-now perspective in his mind.
The veteran played for the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards last season, his 12th in the league, but will be a free agent this offseason. Collins has been mostly an end-of-the-bench player over his past few NBA seasons, providing hard defensive minutes and a strong locker room presence wherever he's been.
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