Jason Collins; The First Gay Professional Athlete

This past week found me in the nation’s capital visiting a very dear friend of mine. Sara Salman and I began our relationship my freshman year at Ohio University. I met her through a training program at WOUB in Athens, Ohio. We struck up conversation that evening and since then have traveled together, worked together, grown together all while learning from each other. I’m proud to say she is now doing incredible work in Washington DC with the news network Al Jazeera.

With only a little over a week to spend in the city I wanted to produce a freelance piece including interviews with those visiting and living in the District.  The announcement of Jason Collins becoming the first openly gay man to play in a professional sports league came during my visit. I wanted to know what those in this fast-growing city thought of the news.

The result can be seen in the video above. I find it important to mention that it was unintentional to include the opinions of only those supportive of the NBA signing an openly gay man to play. I found in my venture that those who did not support, and or questioned the newsworthiness of my piece did not want me to record their response. Although I pressed for them to appear on camera, they wished not to. Their chosen silence, in some ways, speaks just as loud as what they told me “off the record.”

Share your thoughts on the piece and add to the conversation by tweeting to me @JWiedle.