NBA player Jason Collins' Twitter account this morning hinted that he expected his week to be busy. His next communication would come via the media.
Played golf for the 1st time since Oct on Sun. I broke 100 and had a birdie. Great way to relax before the start of a big week.— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins34) April 29, 2013
In a first-person piece for "Sports Illustrated," Collins, the former center for the Washington Wizards who is a free agent, became the first active athlete in the four major North American sports to announce he is gay. Collins, who has played for six teams in 12 NBA seasons, wrote: "The recent Boston Marathon bombing reinforced the notion that I shouldn't wait for the circumstances of my coming out to be perfect. Things can change in an instant, so why not live truthfully?"
Many people, including a number Collins' fellow NBA players, took to Twitter in support after his announcement.
I'm proud to call Jason Collins a friend. wjcf.co/154piCi— Bill Clinton (@billclinton) April 29, 2013
Very proud of my friend Jason Collins for having the strength & courage to be the first openly gay player in the NBA. bit.ly/ZLei9F— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) April 29, 2013
So proud of you, Jason Collins! This is a huge step forward for our country. We've got your back! -mo— FLOTUS (@FLOTUS) April 29, 2013
Collins' team, the Wizards, supported him in a statement, and many NBA players followed suit.
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
@jasoncollins34 much respect to you.It takes a strong dude to be the first. Your a hell of a professional and a hell of a teammate.— trevorariza (@TrevorAriza) April 29, 2013
Proud to support my teammate and friend @jasoncollins34. Stay true to you!— Emeka Okafor (@BigMek50) April 29, 2013
I appretiate you for coming out. I am sure it takes a lot of courage to do so. I am proud of you. Great teammate! Take care @jasoncollins34— Jan Vesely (@JanVesely24) 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
All my respect & support to JasonCollins. Thanks to his courage perhaps someday an athlete's sexual preference will be irrelevant. Congrats.— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) 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
Happy for my former teammate Jason Colllins. A true American. "home of the free because of the brave"— Rudy Gay (@rudygay22) April 29, 2013
. @jasoncollins34 was a complete professional and a great teammate. I support him in his decision and wish him all the best in the future.— Al Horford (@Al_Horford) 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
Respectto @jasoncollins34. great teammate and true professional when we played together.— Kyle Lowry (@Klow7) April 29, 2013
Much respect to @jasoncollins34 for doing what he is doing.... He was a great teammate and I support you either way...— Jared Sullinger (@Jared_Sully0) April 29, 2013
I have to respect @jasoncollins34 . Hope people will respect his decision and respect for the courage it took.#support#respect#NBAfamily— Nicolas Batum (@nicolas88batum) April 29, 2013
Much Respect for @jasoncollins34 that took a lot of courage!— Rasual Butler (@RasualButler45) April 29, 2013
@jasoncollins34 I hope one day we won't have to say how proud we are because it will be normal. Thanks of you stepping up today. Good luck!— Luis Scola (@LScola4) April 29, 2013
You have to respect Jason Collins for being himself and honest today. Took a lot of courage. Respect to him.. #nba— Tracy McGrady (@Real_T_Mac) April 29, 2013
Retired NBA player John Amaechi, who came out as gay after his playing career, also voiced his support for Collins, as did many other retired players.
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 Collins has announced that he is gay. I know Jason and his family well and I support him 100%.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 29, 2013
Character is found in those who lead.I am so proud of my friend, Jason Collins, for showing all of us what leadership looks like.#way2go— SHAQ (@SHAQ) 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.— Bruce Bowen (@Bowen12) April 29, 2013
Played NBA +college w/ @jasoncollins34 -tremendous human being and PHENOMENAL teammate, leader, friend.Look forward 2his continued success!— Mark Madsen (@madsen_mark) April 29, 2013
American soccer player Robbie Rogers, who came out in February, saw Collins' announcement as the start of something bigger.
I feel a movement coming.— Robbie Rogers (@robbierogers) April 29, 2013
NFL players Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo have been outspoken gay rights supporters and they expressed their support of Collins on Monday.
Collins' announcement resonated far beyond the basketball courts, as high profile stars voiced their support.
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
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
It's not easy to come out when one is still active- shouldn't be an issue, but it is. That's why so many don't do it till after.— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) April 29, 2013
I admire @jasoncollins34 courage. Be who you are regardless of what others think— Evander Holyfield (@holyfield) April 29, 2013
I would like to pledge my support to Jason Collins, and hope someday that we only get judged by our accomplishments.— Barry Sanders (@BarrySanders) 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
So proud of Jason Collins for being an example of bravery and courage. I applaud you!!!— Eva Longoria (@EvaLongoria) April 29, 2013
Collins returned to Twitter to thank all those who had supported him throughout the day.
All the support I have received today is truly inspirational. I knew that I was choosing the road less traveled but I'm not walking it alone— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins34) April 29, 2013
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me thru email, texts, calls, tweets, letters, and every other form of communication. #support— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins34) April 29, 2013
Detroit Lions cornerback Alphonso Smith posted this as part of a series of tweets expressing an opposing viewpoint. Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace also tweeted negative sentiments, though later deleted the tweets and tweeted an apology.
Ppl are so sensitive-I have the RIGHT to not give that behavior any applause;I love everyone-don't hate anyone; not praising it! Excuse me!— Alphonso Smith (@AlphonsoSmith2) April 29, 2013