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Jason Collins looks back on the positive impact coming out had on his NBA career

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Jason Collins didn’t publicly come out as gay until his final NBA season. But once he was able to be himself, the trailblazing center says he unlocked deeper relationships with his teammates and coaches.

In a recent interview on the “All About Change” podcast series, Collins reflects on his journey. He publicly came out in April 2013, and signed with the Brooklyn Nets the following February, when he made history as the first out active gay player in major U.S.

men’s team sports.During that special season, he says his connections with those around him only grew more meaningful. Subscribe to our newsletter for a refreshing cocktail (or mocktail) of LGBTQ+ entertainment and pop culture, served up with a side of eye-candy.“I had closer relationships with my coaches, with my teammates, to the point where we’re playing against the Miami Heat and on one of the days off, an assistant coach and one of my teammates, we’re going to do a hot yoga session together.

We’re doing yoga. That would never have happened when I was in the closet,” he said. “But you’re forming more authentic connections with your teammates, with your coaches, with your coworkers, and life is just so much better when you’re having those real connections with people.”Despite playing in the NBA for 15 seasons, Collins says he retreated from the spotlight for the bulk of his career.

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