Jason Collins Encourages Students to Stand Up for the Voiceless
Jason Collins, retired NBA basketball player and the first openly gay athlete in a major American sports league, spent the day at The Hun School of Princeton on Tuesday, April 14th. He spoke candidly with students and faculty about his life experience, his decision to make his personal life public, and his current role as an advocate for equal rights in the LGBTQ community.
During his morning presentation, Mr. Collins said, ”I’ve played team sports my whole life and I believe that teams are stronger the more diverse they are. They are made better when people bring their respective strengths to the table.” Mr. Collins continued, “Regardless of the civil rights issue, whether it relates to race, gender, sexual orientation, or identity, I hope all of us stand up for the voiceless. Let them know that someone cares, that they are not alone, that we are all in this together, and that we are all on the same team.”
Mr. Collins explained that his decision to come out was motivated by his desire to live an authentic life and to help those struggling with their own identity as a “possibility model.”
In April of 2014 Time Magazine called Jason Collins one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Since then, he has leveraged his celebrity to engage lawmakers, LGBTQ organizations, schools, and individuals in open conversations about gay rights. He said, “I played basketball for nearly thirty years and I can tell you one thing – you can’t win alone. You can’t do anything alone. You need more people on the team. If something is wrong, it is vital that we stand together and speak out.”
The Hun School of Princeton is an independent, coeducational, private day and boarding college preparatory school. Student-centered, hands-on learning prepares students for the global community in which they will live and work.