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First Openly Gay NBA Player, Jason Collins Announces His Retirement



The first openly gay NBA player, Jason Collins, is saying goodbye to the NBA. The baller, who joined the Brooklyn Nets last year for a quick season, confirmed on Wednesday that he is retiring.

“Today, I am retiring from the NBA after 13 seasons. Most people reading this probably don’t know me from SportsCenter,” he wrote in an a first-person story for Sports Illustrated. “Most people know me as ‘the gay basketball player.’ I have been an openly gay man for approximately three percent of my life. I have been a professional basketball player for almost half of it.”

In the article, Jason also opens up about being a professional basketball player who never had any “road stories.”

“Every other time, I could find a way to laugh it off. This time was different. I was 30 and unmarried. No kids. No crazy road stories. For years, I had dated women—never men, even secretly—but now I was starting to be more honest with myself about my sexuality. I felt like maybe the guards I had put up were starting to wear down. This time, the question stung like it never had before. There’s a very particular feeling in the pit of your stomach when the question comes up. I call it the blush. You feel angry, yet also embarrassed.”

“It felt like everybody on that bus was looking at me and could see right through me. Part of me was tired of running. Part of me wanted to scream out the truth and just get it over with, but I couldn’t. In a split second, that familiar survival instinct kicked in and I thought, Okay, I have to prove to these guys that I’m straight.”

In August 2013, Collins, who was a free agent at the time, announced his sexuality in an issue of Sports Illustrated. 


Exclusive: The Bullet Scars That Will Forever Haunt Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Son, Etienne Maurice



Sheryl Lee Ralph shared a graphic photo on Instagram earlier this week of her son, Etienne Maurice, laying in a hospital bed bandaged up from bullet wounds. The purpose of the image was to be yet another voice calling to end gun violence.

On Wednesday, students across the country walked out of class to protest against gun violence, something that hit home for Ralph four years ago. “This mother wants #gunreform now! #guncontrol now,” she wrote.

It was during a night out in West Philadelphia that Ralph’s then 22-year-old child was robbed at gunpoint and shot three times; twice in the leg and one which grazed his forehead.

So as Ralph joined Wednesday’s national conversation about gun laws, HipHollywood talked exclusively with Etienne who shared exactly what went down the night a gun could have taken his life for good.

“I was shot four years ago, November 9 … I was black out drunk. The next thing I know I remember I woke up in the hospital, doctor said I had two bullet holes in my leg and a grazed bullet hole above my eyebrow.”

Maurice, who was robbed for his iPhone and his wallet, went on to tell us that this is something that he is reminded of constantly. “Having been shot is something that I carry with me every day. I still have numbness at the bottom of my leg from the nerve damage.”

And while he will always remember how he felt knowing his life almost ended, Etienne had a hard time fathoming how his famous mother felt. “We had the conversation about it last week and she said she peed on herself,” he told us.

For Maurice, he’s proud to see young children use their voices to make change. “There’s so many angles where we can talk about gun violence and how it’s effecting different communities,” he said. “Gun reform needs to take place now.”

Since that night, he hasn’t picked up a drink and has been now sober for four years. As for the suspects, a father-son duo, they are behind bars for attempted man slaughter.

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