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Jason Collins, a former Celtics center and current NBA star was the first active pro athlete in the United States to come out publicly as gay.

Gay athlete like me; Donal Og Cusack says Jason Collins is on the same journey

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Jason Collins, a former Celtics center and current NBA star was the first active pro athlete in the United States to come out publicly as gay.

Nobody can judge the cost of anybody else’s journey but it struck me that Robbie Rogers has his own reasons for stepping out of the limelight.

Certainly coming out to the crowds that frequent Elland Road or Old Trafford wouldn’t be the same thing as a gentle disclosure across the couch from Ellen or Oprah but now we can’t have the debate. Now we can’t see if there was a Pee Wee Reese or a Brian Corcoran in the Leeds United dressing room. We can’t measure the size of the constituency on the terraces which is just sick to the teeth of the mindless hatreds spewed out in their name. We can’t count the days till the media gets over it and it ceases to be an issue. We are left to wonder how long it will be before a players sexuality is of no interest to anybody.

I worry with that situation that the clock didn’t move in any way forward. The next guy thinking of coming out to the world of soccer must surely have paused. And all the people who would have benefitted from his honesty must now wait on in limbo.

Last Sunday I went to a charity event for the emergency services. I was the dummy who got winched through this and that and rescued from here and there. Mighty embarrassing but for a good cause. I tweeted about it all later and got a quick tweet back from a teammate wondering   had I not gone there hoping for a kiss of life from a fireman!

A few years ago I may have been bothered by what implied in that tweet. Life is easier and happier now. That’s a positive reflection on my journey but it’s an amazing reflection on the journey of the Irish people.

Who would have thought that a Country so weighed down by religion and prejudice for centuries could move so quickly? There is generosity in every heart! America is one of the greatest and most generous nations on Earth.  It’s time. It’s past time. Past time for America to turn this lingering prejudice into a little piece of history. Jackie Robinson to Jason Collins play on...

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