Bumped. While Steve Alford's hiring has been a black eye for UCLA, this should make all Bruins proud. - BN Eds.
As many of you have probably heard by now, NBA free agent and former Stanford Cardinal Jason Collins came out of the closet in a Sports Illustrated article released today. First off, much respect to Collins for having the courage to be the first to break through that barrier. Major pro sports have long been a bastion for homophobia in part because the absence of an openly gay man within the pro ranks has served to re-enforce stereotypes of gender and sexual orientation.
Many sports insiders had speculated prior to the Collins article that 2013 would be the year of the first openly gay male major sport athlete, the question of "who" has generally been followed by the more prevalent question of "how will the sports world react?" The immediate response, at least the immediate public response, from pro athletes and other public figures has been one of support and admiration for Collins and his courageous act. ESPN offered a collection of supportive tweets in this piece.
One of the things that caught my eye while going through those tweets was the fact that of the 40 or so athletes/public figures offering support, six were Bruins.
Naturally, I was not surprised by the fact that so many Bruins were so quick to offer support. As far as I'm concerned, thanks to the examples set by men like Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe and Kareem Abdul Jabar and torch-bearing of modern Bruins like Kluwe and Ayanbadejo, progressive thought and activism are as much a part of the Bruin athletic tradition as 8-claps and shoulder stripes.