STATEMENT BY REV. AL SHARPTON ON JASON COLLINS BECOMING THE FIRST OPENLY GAY PROFESSIONAL MALE ATHLETE IN A MAJOR SPORT
April 29, 2013–The announcement made by NBA center Jason Collins today about being a gay male marks the first time a professional athlete has openly confirmed his sexuality. This is a breakthrough moment in sports and another step towards tolerance and fairness in the African-American community. I salute the courage and candor of Mr. Collins and think he has made a great contribution to this country and I call on others in the civil rights community and the African-American leadership of all fields to embrace this development. We can’t be custodians of intolerance and freedom fighters at the same time. In order to fight for anyone’s civil rights and self expression we must fight for everyone’s civil rights. God Bless Jason Collins for helping to show us the way.
Rev. Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network and MSNBC host