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Monday, February 24th, 2014 at 10:00 am  |  18 responses

Kobe Bryant Offers Strong Support for Jason Collins

On the heels of Jason Collins’ historic return to the NBA, Kobe Bryant voiced his support for the big fella. Bryant says Collins’ impact will be felt on and off the court. Per Yahoo!:

“His impact [Sunday night] is greater than what people think,” Bryant said before the game. “You look at it from the context of having the first openly gay player. But they missed the domino effect that it has way beyond sports.”

“It’s fantastic. It sets an incredible precedent,” said Bryant, who is currently out of the Lakers’ lineup indefinitely with a knee injury. “I think the most important part about it, what I’ve learned on the issue is that one person coming out is showing this type of courage that gives others that same type of courage.

“It’s dealing with a lot of issues for kids who are afraid to be themselves. Afraid to be themselves because of the peer pressure that comes with it. A lot of these kids have depression issues or they’re being teased from other kids for being different. You wind up seeing a lot of suicides, kids injuring themselves and getting hooked on things that they should not be hooked on.”

On the impact of Collins’ first game, Bryant said: “There is a kid out there who … is going to say, ‘Jason gave me strength in dark moments to be brave. He gave me courage to step up and accept myself for who I am despite what others might be saying or the public pressures. He gave me strength and bravery to be myself.’”

Collins, who was scoreless in 10-plus minutes of action, said in response to Bryant’s praise, “That’s along the same lines of what I would say to every other professional athlete. … Realize that there is support there waiting for you. That’s the only thing I can say about encouraging people to be their true self.”

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  • guest

    godd*mnit kobe. what happened to the days when it was so easy to hate you?

  • AiRsMiTh

    Could Kobe be the most eloquent speaker in the NBA as of now? I wouldn’t have imagined it, but I think he hit the nail on the head in terms of the significance of someone’s whose sexuality is not “normal” coming out. I have avoided commenting on these type of stories since Michael Sam came out b/c there is usually little context outside of the athlete under the spotlight (Collins, Sam), and most of the commenters tend to all say the exact same thing, which is the exact opposite of Kobe says here.

    I’ve read so many comments, most of them saying sexuality and sports should not mix, or how gay people are obnoxious with their sexuality, how it’s about coming out is all for attention; all in all, it is a bunch of people who do not accept others and reinforce the message that it is not okay to be gay, that if you are gay, you should keep quiet and be untrue to yourself. I’m surprised Kobe was one player who could have stated why this matters so well, especially considering his past and his talent.

    Hopefully his words will cause some to think about this message, and help them grow, but probably not. Regardless kudos to you, Mamba. My respect for you continues to grow, even if you are a Laker.

  • keyon dooling

    “hey benny, fu..” y’all know the rest

  • bike

    Kobe Motherfu*kin Bryant.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    really really well said.

  • LakeShow

    This should help you understand life better.

    http://youtu.be/3NAUgCm-3Tc

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com/ Dutch Rich

    The cultural impact goes way beyond just sports. The era of universally accepted tasteful gay jokes has begun….
    and Reebok Pumps can be given a whole new meaning….

  • TBRK

    Courage….lying to a woman for 8 years about plans to marry her and start a family, and then letting her know the whole time he preferred being with men. There is nothing courageous about that I’m afraid, and that’s no knock to anyone who is dispositionally homosexual, that’s just a matter of fact. Seems like certain factions of society only care to offer ‘love’ or support for someone who can bolster their world view and agendas.
    Heard his wife is freezing her eggs now because she fears she might not be able to conceive….lets be honest with ourselves, what is it about this that we support?

  • TBRK

    *ex-fiancee

  • davidR

    i think so. after all the adversity he’s been through (colorado, compared to jordan, shaq, championships, being a laker), and his age, it makes sense that he’s gained a lot of wisdom.

    i can definitely see him writing a book one day. at this point, there really arent any reasons to hate kobe

  • guest

    God bless your soul for bringing Louis CK into this. He also had one of the best conversations about the word ever on his first episode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-55wC5dEnc

  • guest

    or second episode lol

  • robb

    Collins did that?

  • GP

    *grabs popcorn, sits back, and waits for reaction*

  • 2chainz
  • LOLdog

    more reports of physical play and accidental groin hits against collins hehehehe peace

  • Conor

    Chappelle, CK, and Kobe all referenced in one thread. This is why SLAM is the best.

  • Ashley Nicholas

    Courage….lying to a woman for 8 years about plans to marry her and start a family, and then letting her know the whole time he preferred being with men.

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