Jason Collins, the first active NBA player to come out publicly as a gay man, has been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Collins, 36, came out a year ago in a Sports Illustrated cover story.
While Beyonce gets the main cover of Time, Collins is one of three selectees who get what is called an ‘inside cover’ along with Robert Redford and GM CEO Mary Barra. according to Today.com which previewed the list.
‘This is cool,’ Collins tweeted today along with an image of his inside cover.
The eclectic list also includes Pope Francis, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and singer Miley Cyrus.
Former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton wrote the story on Collins for the magazine. They met when both were freshman at Stanford University.
‘Not surprisingly, the first thing I noticed was his height,’ Clinton writes. ‘The second thing I noticed was his kindness off the court – and his fierceness on it. Kindness to his friends, his family and fans. Fierceness in his drive to win. Jason has always been focused on others, on what’s right for those he loves, and on helping those whose jersey is the same as his.’
She also writes: ‘Jason has always maintained he’s first a basketball player. He is. But he’s also a leader and an inspiration. For Michael Sam, Derrick Gordon and others whose names we may never know. And also for those of us lucky enough to be fans — or to call him our friend.’