Jason Collins, the first gay athlete in any of the four major sports in the United States, has seen a lot of support from his fellow NBA players on Twitter.
Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don’t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) April 29, 2013
Collins has been in the NBA for 12 years and has played for numerous teams. He once joked that you could play “Six Degrees of Jason Collins.” Collins said: “If you’re in the league, and I haven’t been your teammate, I surely have been one of your teammates’ teammates. Or one of your teammates’ teammates’ teammates.”
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
I am so proud of my bro @jasoncollins34 for being real. #FTheHaters bit.ly/12J9el5 — Baron Davis (@Baron_Davis) April 29, 2013
Collins was also praised by Doc Rivers.
Doc Rivers: “I am extremely happy and proud of Jason Collins. He’s a pro’s pro.” Read Doc’s full statement: on.nba.com/15UPgaR
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 29, 2013
The 12-year NBA veteran was also praised by commissioner David Stern.
NBA Commissioner David Stern statement re: Washington Wizards center Jason Collins announcement today: (1/4)
— NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2013
“As Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 (2/4) — NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2013
and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family. Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout (3/4) — NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2013
his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue.” #NBAFamily (4/4)
— NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2013
Collins’ announcement today is a big step forward for the LGBT community. The sports world has been plagued with homophobia for years but that barrier has now been broken. After Collins’ announcement, players from around the league vocalized their support.
The time has come. Maximum respect. RT @baron_davis: I am so proud of my bro @jasoncollins34 for being real. … tmi.me/TGSBh
— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) April 29, 2013
Great character from a great family! That’s all that matters! @jasoncollins34 #respect — Earl J Watson (@Earl_Watson) April 29, 2013
Proud of @jasoncollins34 for expressing his feelings! Great teammate, mentor and better person !! #liveyourlife ! — Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) April 29, 2013
Of course, NBA players aren’t the only ones proud of Jason Collins today. The 12-year center has also received messages of support form movie stars like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, politicians like Nancy Pelosi, and athletes like Michael Strahan.
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
.@nba center @jasoncollins34 is the 1st out player on a US major league team. I’m overwhelmed by your bravery, Jason, sending so much love
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 29, 2013
Being real authentic is very powerful. Well done Jason Collins for having the courage to take a monumental step forward. #LiveReal — Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 29, 2013
Bravo, @jasoncollins34! Thanks for stepping up. For standing tall. And at 7 feet, that’s saying a lot. — Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) April 29, 2013
.@jasoncollins34 Thank you for raising your hand. Your courage proves why every American deserves our respect, no matter who they love.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) April 29, 2013
Collins has seen a lot of support from the NBA and his former players, as well as several other celebrities, but that doesn’t mean that Collins won’t face any challenges. The NBA veteran wrote on Twitter that he hopes that he can handle the challenges that he might face in the future.
You never know what a new day brings. Hope everyone has a good week and is able to handle the challenges and obstacles that they may face.
— jarron collins (@jarronctwin) April 29, 2013
It looks like the NBA has his back.