NBA center Jason Collins made history on Monday, becoming the first athlete in one of the big four American professional sports leagues — NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL — to declare he is openly gay while still an active player.
Collins’ decision to come out in the pages of Sports Illustrated has already made him a topic of discussion beyond the world of sports and landed him on the front page of several major newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.
So how long before Hollywood comes knocking on Collins’ door?
Lisa Cohen, who is handling public relations on Collins’ coming out for his agency Wasserman Media Group, says the player has no deal in place to sell the rights to his life story, nor does anything appear to be in the works.
Is Collins' story marketable enough to translate into film?
“It frankly depends on how interesting his story arc is. And how far he wants to go," said Howard Bragman, vice chairman of Reputation.com, a marketing firm. Bragman has helped steer LGBT clients including country singer Chely Wright out of the closet and into development deals.
“I think there’s a chance for a book. But the bigger chance is the chance to change the world," Bragman said.
Collins, a free agent, is currently looking for a new NBA team and his decision to come out may make finding a home a little tougher.
“This guy is going to get a lot of scrutiny,” said Bragman, who represents openly gay NFL kicking prospect Alan Gendreau. “I’d love him to keep playing, even if it’s just one game as an openly gay man."
Follow Matthew Fleischer on Twitter @mattefleischer
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