In a sort of logic that only makes sense to Metta World Peace, the eccentric Lakers forward somehow compared NBA player Jason Collins publicly coming out of the closet to World Peace coming out of the closet wearing a Cookie Monster shirt.
“Whether it’s a free country or not, you should be free to act and do as you want to do, as long as it’s not violent. I came here in a Cookie Monster shirt because I wanted to,” World Peace told reporters at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “And I was going to wear the pants but I thought you [media] guys were going to judge me. And I was going to wear the hat, too, but I figured you guys would judge me…. I should have wore it. You should be free to do and act how you want to act.”
In all seriousness, World Peace showed support to Collins. World Peace has performed plenty of work on to benefit mental health charities, raising over $600,000 by raffling off his 2010 NBA championship ring and earning the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2011. World Peace, who often sees his own psychologist, has taken a passion for this cause in hopes of removes the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Liekwise, World Peace believes Collins willingness to say publicly he’s gay through an article in Sports Illustrated could accomplish the same goal in knocking down stigma regarding homosexuals.
“When you feel comfortable with yourself, not only does it make you a better person…. It’s unnecessary stress, as we all know, if you’re holding things in,” World Peace said. “It can just bring unnecessary stress to your heart, to your mind and when you can release it and talk about it, you feel better. And that’s how it should be with anything, not just coming out if you’re gay or if you have a mental issue and whatever other issue or stigma there is out there.”
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org