Collins ’97 attends State of the Union at invitation of first lady

Lizzy Thomas

Jason Collins ’97 attended Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address as a guest of first lady Michelle Obama.

The first lady has in recent years invited guests relevant to policy issues emphasized in the annual speech. Collins, who last year became the first active male athlete in a major American sport to come out as openly gay, was no exception, as President Barack Obama devoted a short section of his address to LGBT equality and mentioned “marriage equality” for the first time ever in a State of the Union address.

“It’s a big deal that the administration has extended its hand to not only me, but my family, and also sports fans and also the gay community,” Collins said to ESPN Tuesday morning. “I cover a lot of different topics.”

Collins, along with two survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings, the first female CEO of General Motors and a veteran and single mom, watched the address from the first lady’s skybox.