David Stern, Bill Clinton react to Jason Collins coming out as gay
Jason Collins' announcement is a landmark moment in U.S. sports history, and one that has generated some significant reactions.
Veteran forward Jason Collins made professional sports history as the first active player to come out as gay.
Collins wrote a Sports Illustrated piece explaining his decision to come out.
"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay," Collins wrote. "I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, "I'm different." If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."
It's a landmark moment in U.S. sports history, and one that has generated some significant reactions.
David Stern: “As Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family. Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue.”
Bill Clinton:"I have known Jason Collins since he was Chelsea's classmate and friend at Stanford. Jason's announcement today is an important moment for professional sports and in the history of the LGBT community. It is also the straightforward statement of a good man who wants no more than what so many of us seek: to be able to be who we are; to do our work; to build families and to contribute to our communities. For so many members of the LGBT community, these simple goals remain elusive. I hope that everyone, particularly Jason's colleagues in the NBA, the media and his many fans extend to him their support and the respect he has earned."
Washington Wizards: "We are extremely proud of Jason and support his decision to live his life proudly and openly. He has been a leader on and off the court and an outstanding teammate throughout his NBA career. Those qualities will continue to serve him both as a player and as a positive role model for others of all sexual orientation."
Kevin Durant on Collins' announcement: "As NBA players, this is like a big group of guys, that’s like a brotherhood. I support him."— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) April 29, 2013
Really hope people will RESPECT Jason Collins for his decision to come out. Just glad he can now relax and not be afraid to be who he is.— tony Parker (@tonyparker) April 29, 2013
So proud of @jasoncollins34 for having the courage to stand up and out for who he is. I support, respect and salute you!!— Michael Strahan (@michaelstrahan) April 29, 2013
Orange And Blue Skies Salutes Jason Collins. Thank You For Your Courage,A Slam Dunk Against HOMOPHOBIA.And Dat's Da "FREEDOM"Truth,Ruth.— Spike Lee (@SpikeLee) April 29, 2013
Jason is one of the best teammates that I’ve ever had. He was a great presence in the locker room and an even better person. #NBAFamily— Zaza Pachulia (@zaza27) April 29, 2013
Congratulations to Jason - society couldn't hope for a more eloquent & positive role model: buff.ly/10OvOMd— John Amaechi OBE (@JohnAmaechi) April 29, 2013
Jason's sexuality doesn't change the fact that he is a great friend and was a great teammate. @jasoncollins34— Jason Kidd (@RealJasonKidd) April 29, 2013
My only issue with Collins is his "Im Black" buffer...— David West (@D_West30) April 29, 2013
I'm proud of Jason Collins. I believe that gender, race or sexual orientation should not be a factor in judging a person or their ability.— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) April 29, 2013
Atlanta Hawks: And from the Hawks: "We have great respect for Jason and his message today. Creating an environment where we support, respect, and accept our players' individual rights is very important to us," said Hawks Managing Partner and NBA Governor Bruce Levenson. "Jason represented everything that we look for as a member of the Atlanta Hawks and we are proud he wore our jersey."
"Our focus will always be on bringing in players that can contribute to the greater good of the Atlanta Hawks and ensuring that we create the most accepting, respectful, and productive environment for players to succeed," said Hawks President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ferry.
Doc Rivers: The following statement is from Boston Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers on Jason Collins' announcement today:
“I am extremely happy and proud of Jason Collins. He’s a pro’s pro. He is the consummate professional and he is one of my favorite “team” players I have ever coached. If you have learned anything from Jackie Robinson, it is that teammates are always the first to accept. It will be society who has to learn tolerance. One of my favorite sayings is, I am who I am, are whom we are, can be what I want to be its not up to you, it’s just me being me."
Metta World Peace on Jason Collins coming out: "I've got gay friends, gay people that work for me. It's not anything out of the norm."— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) April 29, 2013
Jason Collins showed a lot of courage today and I respect him for taking a stand and choosing to live in his truth. #nbafamily— Way of WADE (@DwyaneWade) April 29, 2013
Mark Jackson says he's praying for Jason Collins' family.— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) April 29, 2013
Jackson: "As a Christian man I have beliefs of what's right and what's wrong, that being said, I know Jason Collins, I know his family.."— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) April 29, 2013
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