In his account of the story behind Sports Illustrated's massive Jason Collins scoop, Executive Editor Jon Wertheim notes Collins has become "the first active male athlete in a major U.S. team sport to come out of the closet. Yes, that's a lot of qualifiers."
They're necessary. As Jim Buzinski told The New York Times' Sam Borden earlier this month on the occasion of No. 1 WNBA draft pick Brittney Griner's coming out: “Can you imagine if it was a man who did the exact same thing? Everyone’s head would have exploded.”
Martina Navratilova came out in 1981 when she was midway through her spectacular tennis career. Olympic soccer player Megan Rapinoe came out before the Olympics. And John Amaechi came out after his NBA career ended. (Here's Outsports' collection of coming-out stories.) (more...)