Mr. Peter Julian (Burnabyâ€”New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of my New Democratic Party colleagues, and as an avid basketball player and fan in support of Brittney Griner and Jason Collins.
Collins, a veteran NBA player, and Griner, the first NCAA player to score more than 2,000 points and block 500 shots, and the number one pick in the Women's National Basketball Association draft, have courageously come out.
With David Testo of Montreal Impact, Griner and Collins are the first athletes in any major American sport to come out. This is a huge step forward for professional sports.
Athletes should be judged on their talent, heart and work ethic, not on their sexual orientation. We commend the good work of â€œYOU CAN PLAYâ€�, a project dedicated to equality and respect for all athletes without regard to sexual orientation.
The courage of Collins and Griner is a light for every gay and lesbian living in silence and working to overcome fear, and should be a message for all of us to proudly stand up for respect and join the universal fight for equality, justice and human rights.