Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 30th 2013 Contents A63
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
NEW YORK---NBA veteran Jason Collins became
the first active male player in the four major Amer-
ican professional sports to come out as gay.
The 34-year-old centre, who has played for six
teams in 12 seasons, wrote a first-person account
that was posted on Sports Illustrated s Web site yes-
terday. Collins finished the season with the Wash-
ington Wizards and is now a free agent. He says he
wants to keep playing.
"If I had my way, someone else would have already
done this," he writes.
"Nobody has, which is why I m raising my hand."
Collins played in a Final Four for Stanford and
reached two NBA Finals. His twin brother, Jarron,
was also a longtime NBA centre. Collins says he told
his brother he was gay last summer.
"Jason has been a widely respected player and
team-mate throughout his career and we are proud
he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very
important issue," NBA commissioner David Stern
said in a statement.
White House spokesman Jay Carney called the
decision courageous and former President Bill Clinton
said it was "an important moment for professional
sports and in the history of the LGBT community."
"I hope that everyone, particularly Jason s colleagues
in the NBA, the media and his many fans extend to
him their support and the respect he has earned,"
His daughter Chelsea, who knew the player from
Stanford, tweeted: "Very proud of my friend Jason
Collins for having the strength & courage to be the
first openly gay player in the NBA."
Collins was also college roommates with another
member of an American political dynasty: Rep Joe
Kennedy III, D-Massachusetts. In his account, Collins
wrote that he realised he needed to go public when
the congressman walked in Boston s gay pride parade
last year---and Collins couldn t join him.
Kennedy tweeted yesterday that "I ve always been
proud to call (Collins) a friend, and I m even prouder
to stand with him today."
Mostly a backup in his career, Collins has averaged
3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds for the Nets, Grizzlies,
Timberwolves, Hawks, Celtics and Wizards. He was
traded from Boston to Washington in February. Collins
was the 18th pick in the first round of the 2001 NBA
Several NBA players voiced support, including
Kobe Bryant, who tweeted that he was proud of
"Don t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance
of others," his post said, followed by the words
"courage" and "support."
Several male athletes have previously come out
after they retired, including the NBA s John Amaechi,
the NFL s Esera Tuaolo and Major League Baseball s
Billy Bean. But Collins is the first to do so while plan-
ning to keep playing. (AP)
reveals he's gay
Contact the Red Cross: Headquarters - 627-8215/8128, Northern branch - 627-8214, Southern branch - 652-2024, Tobago branch - 639-2781
Before the flood:
Keep a portable radio, flashlight, emergency supplies and a
first aid kit on hand.
Monitor the radio for weather updates and evacuate immedi-
ately if you are told to do so.
Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your
home or place them high if possible.
Bring in all loose items from outside, like garbage cans and
yard furniture for safe keeping.
Turn off the main electrical switch and other utilities.
Place important documents and valuables in plastic and store
them in a safe place.
During the flood:
Do not walk through flowing water. Just six inches of moving
water can knock you off your feet.
Never attempt to cross a swollen stream, river or gully by
foot or vehicle. The force of these waterways can have deadly
If your vehicle stalls in rising water, abandon it immediately
and climb to higher ground. A mere two feet of water can
float a large vehicle, even a bus.
After a flood:
Clean and dry everything water-soaked.
Check appliances and motors for damage and do not use them
until they have been cleaned and dried.
Watch out for wild animals, snakes and centipedes.
Have your electrical wiring checked before turning on the
Purify water before using. Use chlorine bleach or water puri-
fying tablets. Boil tap water for ten minutes.
Are you ready for aflood?
Source: The T&T Red Cross Society
Floods are the leading cause of disaster-related death
in the Caribbean, but since most can be forecasted,
You should have time to prepare. Your Red Cross
urges You to get ready. There are simple steps You
can take to help protect Your family from a flood.
T&T Red Cross Society
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