Pro athletes show support for Jason Collins, first openly gay NBA player

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For gay athletes who play professional sports, coming out may be easier now that Jason Collins has announced he’s homosexual.

Jason Collins, who played with the NBA’s Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards this season, disclosed that he is gay in Sports Illustrated magazine. This makes him the first active openly gay male athlete in the four major American pro team sports.

So what do other pro athletes have to say about Collins? FOX 4 spoke with some Royals players about the issue.

“Good for him,” said Aaron Crow. “I mean, if he’s happy, then that’s great. I mean I don’t know him personally, but whatever makes that guy happy, I’m all supportive of that.”

Jeff Francoeur said he thinks the locker room would be accepting.

“You don’t really see it, especially in sports in this day and age, but, you know, I’m sure if it were someone in our locker room, I’m sure we all would accept it and move on,” he said.

Some NBA players also expressed their support of Collins and other gay athletes.

“He’s going to make a future impact on a lot of people,” Steve Nash, Lakers guard, said. “Most importantly, [it will help] a lot of young people not only to open their minds, but to also feel free to come out themselves.”

Former NBA player Charles Barkley said he thinks any pro athlete who thinks they’ve never played with a gay player is “an idiot.”

“I played with several gay players,” he said. “It’s their own business. I think they should get to be who they want to be.”








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