Local Spartans Show Support for Jason Collins in Decision to Come Out

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

Brave. Courageous.
Both are words used to describe NBA player Jason Collins after his decision to come out as gay and Todd 'T.J.' Duckett is on board.

"Good for him," he said. "It takes one person to start something."

The former Michigan State running back, who played in the NFL for seven seasons, says homosexuality wasn't discussed when he played, but times are changing.

He thinks Collins' decision will to come out will spread.

"I'm sure it's going to give people strength, it's going to give people courage to be true to who they are," said Duckett.

As far as other players...

"Players will accept it because at the same time that doesn't affect his game," he said.

Former Spartan Draymond Green, now in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors, agrees, it's about the game.

"I'm gonna embrace my teammates," he said. "At the end of the day, when we step on this basketball floor, we all have one common goal, to make it and try to win a championship."

But it isn't a sure thing that everyone will feel the same way.

"It's locker room with a bunch of guys who are making a lot of money," said Mike Peplowski, a former Spartan, who played with five teams in the mid-90s. "To introduce a different component to that will be shocking and unfortunately, there will be a lot of people in that league who aren't educated, enlightened, well read enough to deal with it."

However, for now, several players have supported Collins' decision, including Kobe Bryant and former Spartan and hall-of-famer Magic Johnson, who said he knows Jason and his family well and supports him 100 percent.

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