WASHINGTON, D.C., April 30, 2013 — Team DC, the association of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) sports clubs in the greater Washington region, announced its strong support for Jason Collins who publicly disclosed his sexual orientation in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated.
“The impact of Jason’s announcement cannot be overstated” said Team DC Executive Director, Brent Minor. Minor added, “Collins’ courage to come out is an example to others and helps to shatter the misconceptions some people have about gays and lesbians in professional sports.”
“I think this story will have a huge influence, particularly on young people who enjoy playing sports and identify as gay or lesbian” said Bud Rorison, Chair of the Team DC College Scholarship Committee. He added, “There is still a stigma for many young gay and lesbian athletes and, perhaps, Jason Collins can serve as a positive role model not just for those students, but for their teammates, coaches, teachers and parents.” The Team DC College Scholarships are awarded annually to local gay and lesbian student-athletes with scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000 per student.
Team DC also sponsors the Night OUT Series which organizes LGBT community nights at all of the local professional teams including the Night OUT at the Nationals which drew over 4,000 participants last year. “No doubt, there will be a huge cheer for Jason Collins at the Night OUT at the Wizards next year” said Night OUT Series Chair, Matt Lewis.
Team DC President, Les Johnson, said “It will be interesting to see the long-term impact of Jason’s announcement on fans, sponsors and opposing players. So far the response has been generally quite positive, but we will be watching this situation closely to make sure that Jason or any other player in any other sport that decides to come out will be treated fairly and with respect.”
Minor added, “We applaud the NBA and the Washington Wizards for their support of Jason Collins. There will undoubtedly be others who come out in other sports and we hope that they will also find a strong and supportive community ready to cheer them on.”
CONTACT: BRENT MINOR / (703) 836-1162