NBA’s first brazenly homosexual participant on NHL Satisfaction Evening controversy: ‘Faith shouldn’t be a trigger for division’

Former NBA participant Jason Collins, who grew to become the primary brazenly homosexual athlete to play in one of many 4 main North American sports activities leagues, spoke out this week concerning the latest wave of NHL gamers and groups opting out of Satisfaction Evening, saying that “faith shouldn’t be a trigger for division.”

In an interview with The Athletic revealed Monday, Collins discusses quite a lot of subjects, together with the latest controversy surrounding the Nationwide Hockey League, the place a number of groups and particular person gamers have opted out of celebrating their respective Satisfaction Evening festivities this season. 

Jason Collins in action for the Nets

Jason Collins and Alan Anderson of the Brooklyn Nets rejoice after making a basket towards the Nuggets at Pepsi Middle on Feb. 27, 2014, in Denver. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Photos)

“I’ve seen from afar a few of the tales which have come out,” Collins stated when requested his ideas on this situation.  


“I’ll say this: My grandmother was essentially the most non secular person who I’ve ever identified. She’s a Black, Southern, upstate Louisiana girl… image an outdated, Black girl with a Bible in a single hand, three belts within the different. (Laughs) As non secular as she was, it was all the time about love. As a disciplinarian, it was all the time about love.”

Earlier this yr, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov, who’s Russian Orthodox, stated he elected to not take part in pregame warmups through the workforce’s January Satisfaction Evening with a view to “keep true” to himself and his faith. 

A photo of Ivan Provorov

Ivan Provorov of the Flyers through the Anaheim Geese recreation at Wells Fargo Middle on Jan. 17, 2023, in Philadelphia. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Photos)

“I respect all people and I respect all people’s selections,” he informed reporters on the time. “My selection is to remain true to myself and my faith. That’s all I’m going to say.”


Since then quite a lot of gamers and groups have made comparable selections – some Russian gamers have opted out over concern of reprisal of their house nation. 

In March, San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer cited his “beliefs in Christ” and brothers Eric and Marc Staal, who play for the Florida Panthers, stated they consider “carrying a Satisfaction jersey, it goes towards our Christian beliefs.”

“Faith shouldn’t be a trigger for division, to justify any sort of inequality or to not have the ability to settle for somebody for who they’re,” Collins informed The Athletic. “Once I got here out to my grandmother – and he or she was the member of the family I used to be most nervous to return out to – she stated, ‘Child, it’s about love.’ She stated, ‘Jesus taught me to like.’ It’s about bringing folks collectively. That’s what I feel faith must be about. It’s unlucky when folks aren’t that manner and attempt to use faith as a technique to divide.”

Jason Collins in action for the Nets

Jason Collins of the Brooklyn Nets in motion towards the New York Knicks at Madison Sq. Backyard on April 2, 2014. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Photos)

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Commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the backlash in late March, suggesting it was the primary of its sort and that “it’s one thing that we’re going to have to guage within the offseason.” 

Collins, 44, performed nearly all of his profession with the New Jersey Nets after getting drafted by the Houston Rockets with the No. 18 total choose in 2001. He performed for a number of groups and, in 2013, he got here out as homosexual. 

After returning to the Nets in 2014, he grew to become the primary brazenly homosexual athlete to play in one of many 4 main North American sports activities leagues.

Peter Johnson