STORRS – Was up at Gampel today doing some interviews and had a chance to ask Kevin Ollie about Jason Collins’ revelation. On Monday Collins, 34, in a essay for Sports Illustrated, became the first active athlete in one of the major American team sports to reveal he is gay.
Ollie played 13 years in the NBA for 12 different teams; he and Collins both played for the Timberwolves during the 2008-09 season.
Ollie was supportive:
“I imagine it will impact other people’s decisions,” Ollie said, “if you have one person come out, it helps other people who might have a question in their mind – should I go out or should I cover it up? – to live their life and be who they are. You can’t live a double life. If this gives other athletes an opportunity to come out, I think that’s a good thing.
“… I have no idea [how it will be received in the NBA]. There’s probably going to be some resentment [at first], like with anything else. When Magic Johnson came out with the [HIV], people just didn’t know, there were people saying ‘I don’t want to play with Magic.’ But once everybody understood, once you got all the feedback, you got all the opinions out of the way and you really looked at him as a person, he became accepted. Hopefully this shall pass and we accept it as, ‘everybody has their right to their opinion and how they live their life.’”