NBA star Jason Collins made history Monday, but it wasn’t on the court.
The free agent for the Washington Wizards became the first active athlete in a major American professional sport to publicly come out as gay,
“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center,” Collins writes in a Sports Illustrated story announcing his sexuality. “I’m black. And I’m gay.”
“I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport,” Collins said. “But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I’m different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.
He revealed that he decided to come out of the closet because he was tired of worrying that somebody might suspect he was gay and was no longer willing to live a dishonest life.
“No one wants to live in fear,” Collins wrote in article he authored with Sports Illustrated’s Franz Lidz. “I’ve always been scared of saying the wrong thing. I don’t sleep well. I never have. But each time I tell another person, I feel stronger and sleep a little more soundly. It takes an enormous amount of energy to guard such a big secret. I’ve endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie. I was certain that my world would fall apart if anyone knew. And yet when I acknowledged my sexuality I felt whole for the first time. I still had the same sense of humor, I still had the same mannerisms and my friends still had my back.”
“The strain of hiding my sexuality became almost unbearable in March, when the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for and against same-sex marriage,” he wrote. “Less then three miles from my apartment, nine jurists argued about my happiness and my future. Here was my chance to be heard, and I couldn’t say a thing. I didn’t want to answer questions and draw attention to myself. Not while I was still playing.”
He added: ”I’m a veteran, and I’ve earned the right to be heard. I’ll lead by example and show that gay players are no different from straight ones. I’m not the loudest person in the room, but I’ll speak up when something isn’t right. And try to make everyone laugh.”
Former President Bill Clinton, whose daughter Chelsea was a friend of Collins’ at Stanford, released a statement on his Web site supporting Collins.
“I have known Jason Collins since he was Chelsea’s classmate and friend at Stanford. Jason’s announcement today is an important moment for professional sports and in the history of the LGBT community. It is also the straightforward statement of a good man who wants no more than what so many of us seek: to be able to be who we are; to do our work; to build families and to contribute to our communities. For so many members of the LGBT community, these simple goals remain elusive. I hope that everyone, particularly Jason’s colleagues in the NBA, the media and his many fans extend to him their support and the respect he has earned.”
On Monday, which marked her second wedding anniversary, the Duchess of Cambridge stepped out solo as she paid a visit a children’s hospice.
Kate, 31, visited the Naomi House Children’s Hospice for tea without husband Prince William, 30, who was on duty with his helicopter search and rescue squadron at RAF Valley in north Wales.
The pregnant Duchess donned an apricot-coloured Tara Jarmon Coat and a peach dress by a private dressmaker. She wore her favorite cream-colored LK Bennett heels.
She was met at the door of the hospice by 8-year-old Sally Evans, who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy.
Aww, who could forget this magical moment
“She wished her happy anniversary and thanked her for choosing to come,” Sally’s mother Sarah says of her daughter’s interaction with Kate, who asked what activities Sally likes at the center. “[Kate] is so down-to-earth and friendly with the children.”
Graham Butland, chief executive of Kate’s charity, East Anglia Children’s Hospice, was among the guests. “She’s so natural with everyone. One advantage of not being born royal is that you are natural – and she has not lost that. She is able to communicate with people at all levels,” he says. “She is going to be a great mum, no doubt about that.”
It is believed Wills and Kate marked their anniversary early with a private weekend away in Norfolk .
The anniversary of their Westminster Abbey wedding is normally celebrated with a gift of cotton.
See Kate step out today in the clip below…
On Sunday, she released her first video message for national Hospice Week.
Take a look at how life has changed for Kate in two years….
The excitement is building as fans ask who, what and most importantly, when, will the “Fifty Shades of Grey” tome make its way to the big screen.
And which Hollywood hunk will play Christian Grey?
Will it be our new Tinseltown crush Alex Pettyfer?
OK! magazine is breaking down the fact from the fiction in their latest report.
Fifty Shades of Grey fans were whipped into a frenzy when word got out that Oscar-nominated director Gus Van Sant shot a test scene with actor in the role of the erotic bestseller’s protagonist, Christian Grey.
Even better, the news was that this wasn’t just any old humdrum scene. According to TheWrap, Pettyfer stripped down to act out the moment the CEO Grey takes university graduate Anastasia Steele’s virginity.
It’s a titillating story, but Van Sant reportedly did the test shoot on his own to prove to the studios that he’s the best director for the job. Unfortunately, his efforts might not matter—not yet anyway. A Universal spokesperson says they haven’t indicated to directors or actors that they are ready to move forward with the project.
So what’s the huge holdup? The book series has countless diehard fans that can’t wait to pop open their wallets and plunk down cold hard cash to witness their favorite literary characters steam up the silver screen.
“EL James’ books have been the most popular books that the publishing industry has seen in many years,” an insider at Random House, the book series’ publisher, tells OKMagazine.com. “The studio knows that they have one shot to get this right, and if they don’t they will be losing billions of dollars in potential profits and franchises.”
Who do you think should land the leading actor role?
Meet the man who is so handsome, it may be illegal.
Dubai fashion photographer, actor and poet (and that word should be used very lightly) Omar Borkan Al Gala could be one of the three men deported from Saudi Arabia last week for the crime of being too gorgeous.
Religious police in the deeply conservative Muslim country reportedly stormed a stand manned by delegates from the United Arab Emirates at the Jenadrivah Heritage & Culture Festival. The three hotties were evicted from the festival, then deported to the UAE because they were so handsome that police “feared female visitors could fall for them,” the Arabic-language newspaper Elaph reported.
Omar has posted messages on Facebook seemingly confirming his involvement in the incident.
“This is what written in newspapers in over the world :) UAE men ordered to leave Saudi Arabia for being ‘too handsome’,” one post reads.
He then posted: “The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.”
With cringeworthy lines like this, Omar is already building quite the female fan base, with hundreds of admirers swamping his Facebook page.
One admirer wrote: “Oh my gosh… the eyes… the eyes!”
“Hi handsome… I know you from the breaking news… lol… the most handsome guy in the world,” another one gushed.
While his popularity continues to plummet and his likability currently sits equal to that of visiting the dentist for a root canal, embattled “Today” anchor Matt Lauer did feel some love this week thanks to fellow NBC staffer Kathie Lee Gifford.
Gifford has revealed she was so fed up with criticism of Lauer that she decided to show him some support in a full-page newspaper ad — and got the whole “Today” cast and crew to sign it.
She intended to publish the letter this week in USA Today, but when she presented it to Lauer on Monday, although touched, he asked her to keep it “in the family” and not buy an ad.
Gifford was apparently especially incensed by reporters who used “unnamed sources” to slam Lauer and blame him for former co-host Ann Curry’s ouster last June, she told The New York Daily News.
“We read the same newspapers and saw all the media reports, and it was frustrating for all of us watching it day to day and feeling a little helpless,” Gifford said. “No one seemed to be interested in the truth, and that was really frustrating for me because I have a deep sense of injustice about things. I don’t like somebody taking credit for something they had nothing to do with and I certainly don’t like somebody taking blame for something that they’re not responsible for,” she said.
In three weeks, Gifford collected hundreds of signatures from “Today” staffers including Lauer’s co-host, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Willie Geist and Hoda Kotb.
The letter read: “We the people of the ‘Today’ show who work side by side, day by day, year in and year out with Matt Lauer are tired of unfounded and unrelenting stories by faceless characters regarding his character and reputation. No one has coerced us to sign this. With our signatures we stand in support of our colleague and friend.”
One notable name missing from the list of supporters was Ann Curry.
But Gifford explained that Curry’s lack of signature was due to her not seeing her, not a resistance to sign on Curry’s behalf.
“She’s just not part of (the show) day-in and day-out anymore. This wasn’t about Ann, this is about our love and support for a different member of our family,” she said.
Gifford said she was shaken by the ongoing coverage blasting Lauer because “I’ve been through it.”
“I also knew what he must’ve been going through internally,” she said.
Do you think since the Curry fiasco we have been too hard on Lauer?
Sunday night saw The Red Hot Chili Peppers closing this year’s Coachella Festival.
2 weekends, 6 days, 175 acts, and 180,000 fans later, here are just a few of the highlights from both weekends.
As proceedings drew to a close on the first weekend, a windstorm with gusts of over 75 mph ripped through the usually quiet desert community of Indio in California, blowing dust and sand into the faces of the festival faithful who had made the annual pilgrimage, leading one unhappy punter to dub the heads-down, squint-eyed march to the parking lot as “the hipster trail of tears”.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers closed the festival
After much speculation that Phoenix would close their first Saturday night set by collaborating with Daft punk, they threw everyone a curve ball by unexpectedly being joined by non other than R. Kelly, for an extremely unlikely mash up of their song “1901″ and the R&B star’s “Ignition”. Everyone gasped, took photos with their phones, then boogied for all they were worth!
The Dropkick Murphy’s opened an emotionally charged set on the second weekend with “For Boston” whilst a flag with the city’s seal waved behind them. The band thanked the crowd for “showing so much support for the people of Boston,” and went on to dedicate “Your Spirit’s Alive” to everyone supporting the city. They also raised upward of $100,000 to benefit the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and their families.
Dropkick Murphys opened their set with a tribute to Boston
The Brits were well represented with Blur, Stone Roses, Franz Ferdinand, and New Order all occupying late night spots.
New Order delighted the audience by playing their former incarnation Joy Division’s classic “Love Will Tear Us Apart” on Saturday night/ Sunday morning. The Stone Roses, who closed Friday night ahead of Blur on the first weekend, switched places with the Britpop legends for the second weekend. Although no official reason was given for the switch, The Roses first weekend crowd was conspicuously small. Apparently, although iconic in Britain, many of the festival-goers had never heard of the band! Blur, of course, drew a huge crowd that enthusiastically “Woo-Hoo-ed” their way through “Song 2″, causing one of the less educated audience members to cry “These guys are gonna be big!” Perhaps they didn’t really know who Blur was either!
Blur hit the stage at the festival
One of the highlights of this year were indie-rockers Yeah Yeah Yeahs and in particular their lead singer Karen O. Dressed in a purple sequined pant suit one weekend and an embroidered canary yellow the next, she swung the mic, then swallowed the mic, bounce up and down on the drum riser, and generally covered the stage like a whirling Dervish. In “Cheated Hearts” she sang, “Sometimes I think that I’m bigger than the sound,” and after Friday nights performance it was clear that yes, sometimes she is!
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs were a favorite
As is usual with Coachella, the celebs were out in force. Troubled actress, Lindsey Lohan was spotted hanging at the backstage artists village on Friday, just a few weeks away from her 90-day rehab lock down. Rob Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart were seen knocking back the Gatorade (gasp) during the Jurassic 5 set, and amongst the other stars in attendance were Clooney squeeze, Stacy Kiebler, Leo DiCaprio, and German actress Diane Kruger, all enjoying the sounds in the sunshine.
As he lay in his bed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on Monday, accused killer Dzhokhar Tsarnaev heard the charges that we being brought against him in his first official court proceeding.
The 19-year-old suspect in the Boston bombings was told by Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler that he had been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction, in the attacks that killed 3 people and wounded nearly 200 more.
Tsarnaev was alert and aware of what was unfolding, but struggled to speak (his vocal cords were damaged after being shot while being pursued by police last Friday).
Instead, he simply nodded his head to affirm that he understood what was being said.
At one point, he did try to speak, answering “No,” when asked if he could afford a lawyer.
Tsarnaev was surrounded by lawyers for the prosecution and his defense as he was told that his crimes carried the possibility of a death sentence.
The following is the full transcript of Tsarnaev’s bedside hearing:
Meanwhile, Tsarnaev admitted to investigators that he and his brother Tamerlan, 26, acted alone.
Tsarnaev said the pair hatched the plot themselves and were not tied to a terrorist group, The New York Times reports.
The older Tsarnaev was killed Friday in a shootout with police.