NBA Trailblazer Jason Collins Addresses DNC Convention, Praises Clinton As “Choice for Continued Progress”

The out NBA veteran appeared on stage with his twin brother, Jarron.

Today was the first day of the Democratic National Convention, when a diverse range of speakers addressed delegates at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Arena.

Former NBA player Jason Collins, who came out as gay in his final season with the league, spoke around 8pm. He praised the Clinton family as supporters of both the LGBT community and him personally.


Revealing that he told Bill and Hillary about his sexuality before going public, Collins said, “they knew my sexual orientation made no difference in my ability to play basketball, just as someone’s gender makes no difference in his or her ability to lead this nation.”

Collins was preceded by his twin brother, Jarron, who also played for the NBA before retiring in 2014. Jarron’s focus was on how poor a leader Donald Trump would make, and what a bully he is.

The Collins brothers have known the Clintons for many years, but their appearance tonight underscored the night’s theme, “United Together.”

Tina Kotek

Also addressing delegates was Oregon State Representative Tina Kotek, the firs lesbian state Speaker of the House in U.S. history.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.