Galas aren't just for actors and musicians! They're for athletes too!!
Last night marked the 28th annual Sports Spectacular Gala held in Century City, California, and some of the BIGGEST names in sports came out to play!
The night featured a memorial for the late Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss as well as an award ceremony for athletes such as US soccer superstar Hope Solo and Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul!
But the real guest of honor was none other than Jason Collins, who earned the title of Inspirational Athlete of the year for his decision to become the first active player to come out as openly gay in a major U.S. sport!
The trailblazing center said:
"This award is not just about me, this award is about hope, the hope and courage I got from others who have come before me and the hope I have instilled to those individuals still in the closet."
He went on to joke about all of the special attention he's been getting lately, saying:
"The last couple weeks have truly been surreal… In fact I had to turn down a birthday invitation from Anderson Cooper in order to be here tonight."
WHAAAAAAT? He turned down a chance to party with the silver fox??!
But seriously, no trophy will EVER be big enough to show just how important Jason is to moving forward and making progress for accepting homosexuality in sports!
Congrats Jason! You totally deserve it!
[Image via Kevin Winter/Getty Images.]
Tags: awardz, basketball, california, century city, chris paul, coming out, gay gay gay, homosexuality, hope solo, inspiration, inspirational athlete of the year, jason collins, jerry buss, los angeles lakers, soccer, sports, sports spectacular gala