Free agent center Jason Collins became a groundbreaker for the LGBTQ community Monday announcing that he is gay. Collins is the first active gay athlete playing a major American sport.[/media-credit]Fear of the unknown. It’s something I’d like to believe that most human beings share. It’s why some of us were afraid of the dark at an early age. That primal fear that comes with being unable to understand or control your surroundings is very basic, and it’s at the heart and soul of resistance to change.Perhaps that’s the reason, among others, why it’s taken until now for someone like NBA center Jason Collins, an active athlete in a major American sport, to publicly come out as gay. Both the player and the public aren’t sure what happens next. Former NBA player John Amaechi came out in 2007, but it was three years after his playing career had ended. He did not have to enter a locker room with teammates the next day. Amaechi did not have to see how it would affect his career.Whether Collins will get a chance to see how his announcement changes his experience in the NBA remains to be seen, since the veteran journeyman is now a free agent. Still, he may get that chance, as an anonymous survey of 14 NBA teams conducted by ESPN’s Marc Stein revealed that six expect Collins in the league next year. The other eight cited overwhelmingly that his age, not sexual orientation, would be the primary reason they believed he wouldn’t play a 13th season.But seriously, for years players and others have said they’ve known of gay teammates. Why is it now, in 2013, that the glass finally shattered?Every action has an equal and opposite reaction and it’s the opposite reaction that men like Amaechi and Collins fear, the part that can’t be anticipated. Being LGBTQ labels you a minority in a time and age where the question of sexuality is more polarizing than ever. The concern becomes how the majority, the people themselves who don’t identify as a member of your community, treat and handle you once you reveal you’re different. How do you come out when you know it will forever change your life and the way that others perceive you?Those are the questions that need to be answered and that’s the reason why we need to embrace Collins’ decision. Perhaps if Collins is widely accepted by his teammates and has a positive experience, it will help other athletes feel comfortable with coming out as well. It can also serve as an inspiration for others. Like Collins said in his article in Sports Illustrated, nobody wants to be the kid in class who raises his hand and says he’s different. But when someone sees a figure publicly embrace that difference, others may find the same strength to do so as well.I’m only 22. But already, throughout my life, certain values and beliefs I hold have changed so many times I’m starting to lose count. Don’t get me wrong; I still hold viewpoints that have remained unaffected during my lifetime. But I believe that challenging beliefs by immersing myself and actively examining different ones from my own help me either modify or solidify previously held notions. And that’s why I believe an active and open discussion about a topic like Collins’ announcement, no matter what people believe, needs to occur.I believe that we shouldn’t define a person by something like sexual orientation, just like we don’t want to be defined by our race or gender. Am I a straight, white male? Yes. Does that drastically shape my identity? You bet it does. But it doesn’t define entirely who I am. I’d rather think my personality, morals, work and ethics make me who I am rather than the categories I was born with.Collins doesn’t want his life to be defined just as a gay man. He’s had a long career playing professional basketball and would rather be known as a caring teammate and hard worker than the first openly gay athlete. It will be a hard association for Collins to shake, but he also shouldn’t run from it. He should take pride in having the strength to do something no one else has before in his situation. He should find joy in knowing that his announcement will have a larger impact than he can even fathom.So kudos to you, Jason Collins. Kudos for being the first active major American sport athlete to come out as gay. Kudos for doing what so many before you were afraid to do while they were still actively pursuing their athletic career. And finally, kudos for bringing the long-standing issue of being LGBTQ in the United States back to the spotlight for discussion in both the public and private spheres.Some people will embrace the news, others will hate it and some will stand indifferent. But one thing is for certain: This represents a significant moment in the history of both sports and the LGBTQ community.Nick is the Badger Herald sports editor and a senior majoring in English and history. What impact do you think Collins’ announcement will have? Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
21If it wasn’t for Korpisalo in net, this game would have been over hours ago. The Lightning registered 21 High-Danger Chances For including five in the third overtime session (per Natural Stat Trick). And just because this is probably the only time you’ll see this, here’s the heat map during all situations in Tuesday night’s game: (www.naturalstattrick.com) In the end it was the Lightning’s Brayden Point that ended the fourth-longest overtime game in NHL history as he beat Joonas Korpisalo halfway through the fifth overtime period to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 win.🚨 BRAYDEN POINT QUINTUPLE OT WINNER!!!3-2 #GOBOLTS WIN pic.twitter.com/UmkOBUL2Jz— Here’s Your Replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) August 12, 2020A lot of records were broken in this one, and some mind-boggling numbers were posted. Here’s a look at those:150:27The game started at 3 p.m. ET and ended at 9:22 p.m. ET. In the end, the teams played more than 150 minutes of hockey — more than two regulation games.The @BlueJacketsNHL and @TBLightning are skating in the NHL’s first triple overtime game since Game 4 of the 2016 Second Round, when Nashville defeated San Jose. https://t.co/qUa6obujsR #NHLStats #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/9QVsalXBge— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 11, 2020MORE: 10 longest overtime games in NHL Stanley Cup playoffs history85This tweet was sent at 7:18 p.m. ET.Joonas Korpisalo has made 57 saves in Game 1, the most by any @BlueJacketsNHL goaltender in a single game (regular season or playoffs). He bested the previous mark was held by Sergei Bobrovsky, with 54 in Game 2 of the 2018 First Round (5-4 W @ WSH). #NHLStats #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/jwSy83k86d— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 11, 2020This one was sent at 8:21 p.m. ET, about an hour before the game ended. Korpisalo had already set a single-game record.Joonas Korpisalo of the @BlueJacketsNHL has made 74 saves, eclipsing Kelly Hrudey’s 73 from the “Easter Epic” for the highest single-game total since 1955-56 when shots on goal were officially tracked. https://t.co/jUyXnqejLQ #NHLStats #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/uXZinQCWrI— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 12, 2020While he was on the losing end, Korpisalo was brillant, stopping 85 of 88 shots.65:06Before the NHL’s restart, Seth Jones last played an NHL game on Feb. 8. He went on to miss the team’s last 14 games of what was a truncated 2019-20 regular season with a fractured foot.Yes, Jones was able to skate during the pause at the Columbus facility because he was recovering from an injury. But that’s not game-action. Well, don’t tell the 25-year-old defenseman that it takes some time to get back into game-ready shape. After he posted 32:40 and 33:11 in Game 3 and 4, respectively, against the Maple Leafs, the Blue Jackets defenseman 65 minutes and six seconds in Game 1. He set a minutes record when he hit the 64:13 mark.Make that 64:13 so far for @seth_jones3, the highest single-game total by a skater since 1997-98 when TOI was officially tracked. #NHLStats #StanleyCup https://t.co/CMTwt1uY48— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 12, 2020Jones, by the way, wasn’t the only guy to hit the 60-minute mark. Teammate Zach Werenski skated 61:14. Tampa defenseman Victor Hedman, who was questionable to even play Tuesday after getting hurt in the team’s final round-robin game, led his squad with 57:38 TOI.61It’s been almost two decades since a Lightning netminder made 60-plus saves in overtime. Back in 2003 agains the Washington Capitals, Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 60 of 61 in the Bolts three-overtime win to advance to the conference semifinals.Andrei Vasilevskiy makes 61 saves in the overtime win to eclipse Nikolai Khabibulin (60 in Game 6 of the 2003 CQF) for most saves in a #StanleyCup Playoff game in @TBLightning history. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/OhxFeJmd9A— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 12, 202035Between the teams, 35 players registered a shot on net in this game; there’s 18 skaters on each team. The only player who didn’t? Cam Atkinson.#CBJ Cam Atkinson chance in 5OT pic.twitter.com/8ir49nJETC— Here’s Your Replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) August 12, 2020Atkinson had a chance in the fifth overtime — not too long before Point won it — but was taken off the puck by Hedman as he broke in. What a start to the Stanley Cup playoffs!The first game of the first round was quite a whirlwind. Time ticked away as afternoon turned into night with chances on both sides to end the game missed multiple times. It was such a long game that it forced the postponement of the Bruins and Hurricanes Game 1 matchup, which was set to start at 8 p.m. ET., to Wednesday morning. https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/92/cd/natural-stat-trick-081120_uxrssfvl10351gcblde3ghv3n.png?t=-528468477&w=500&quality=80