Welcome to BET.com's 12 Days of Pride series where, with the help of seasoned drag queen and RuPaul's Drag Race alum Shangela Laquifa Wadley, we break down 12 standout reasons why LGBT Pride is to be celebrated, especially within the Black community.
In the fourth installment of the series, we celebrate athletes of color who live in their truth, refusing to hide their sexuality regardless of the opinions of those within their respective sports.
Shangela recognizes NBA champ Jason Collins, former NFL defensive end Michael Sam and WNBA star Brittney Griner.
Collins bravely came out to the world in 2013 on the cover of Sports Illustrated, becoming the first active male athlete from one of the four major North American Professional team sports to do so.
Griner, also coming out in 2013, and already considered an established player in the WNBA, casually mentioned that she was lesbian in an interview.
Sam revealed in a 2014 interview with ESPN's Outside the Lines that he was also gay, proudly declaring, "I am an openly, proud gay man."
These three figures have gone on to serve as inspirations for athletes who seek to live in their truth.
Watch Shangela break it down in the video, above.
(Photos from left: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images, Christian Petersen/Getty Images, Seth Wenig/AP/REX/Shutterstock)