We’d been told for years that professional athletes are Neanderthals who hate gay people. Yet when asked about the coming out of NBA player Jason Collins last week, the overwhelming majority of pro athletes had not just tolerant, but welcoming, comments.
We’ve compiled a list of all the pro-athlete reactions we could find. If you find some we haven’t yet included, please send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shane Battier: “I only want one thing out of my teammate: a commitment to winning. Whether he is straight, gay, black, white, from Earth, or from Mars is immaterial. Just help us win.”
Nicolas Batum: I have to respect @jasoncollins34 . Hope people will respect his decision and respect for the courage it took.#support#respect#NBAfamily
Bradley Beal: Proud of @jasoncollins34 for expressing his feelings! Great teammate, mentor and better person !! #liveyourlife !
Chauncey Billups: I’m proud of him. I’m proud he’s able to feel comfortable enough in his own skin and be who he is.
Chris Bosh: “I don’t think you have to go out of your way. Just treat him normal. He’s a human being, and it’s not like he has two heads or anything. It’s the same dude. Say what’s up and everything is just normal.”
Bruce Bowen: 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.
Scott Brooks: “I heard the news this morning. I respect his decision but quite frankly, I’m just focused on getting Game 4.”
Kobe Bryant: Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don’t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU
Rick Carlisle: “I applaud Jason’s announcement and view it as a further demonstration of the strength of his character.”
Vince Carter: “I’m happy for Jason being able to stand up and be true to himself. My hat’s off to a true NBA pro & person.”
Omri Casspi: “Very important moment for the NBA and sports. I got much respect for him. I hope people will show the same respect.”
Jarron Collins: I’ve never been more proud of my brother
Mike Conley: He’s always been a great guy, he’s always been a great teammate. He’s no different from anybody else. … I think guys will accept it.
Jamal Crawford: One of the coolest teammates. Always a professional. He was actually one of the reasons we beat Orlando my second year there…I’m proud of him.
Baron Davis: I am so proud of my bro @jasoncollins34 for being real.
Keyon Dooling: I’m glad he took that step, and i know he feels liberated for doing it. And I wish him the best. I hope NBA guys can get past sexual orientation.
Mike Dunleavy: “I thought it was great for the LGBT community. Having known Jason in passing, playing against him and stuff like that, I just don’t think of guys in terms of sexual preference or who they like, who they date. So, it’s something to me that I don’t’ want to say is not a big deal because people are making a big deal out of it, but if that’s what makes him more happy, more comfortable, good for him. Hopefully it encourages other people, if they want to do that, to come out and say it. Hopefully it’s a step in the right direction for professional sports and our society.”
Kevin Durant: “If he’s happy, that’s cool with me. Seems like a great guy … I support him.”
Kenneth Faried: “Wow this is amazing all smiles. So so happy Jason Collins came out & announce he was openly gay all support over here.”
Pau Gasol: It’s amazing to see such courage from @jasoncollins34 in today’s announcement. Myself and the #NBAFamily supports you Jason!
Rudy Gay: Happy for my former teammate Jason Colllins. A true American. “home of the free because of the brave”
Daniel Gibson: “I think it’s a cool move. I respect him for having courage to stand up and live his truth. Too many people put on these masks of who they believe society wants them to be and live unhappy, makeshift lives. I think it’s great when people stand up.”
Manu Ginobili: All my respect & support to JasonCollins. Thanks to his courage perhaps someday an athlete’s sexual preference will be irrelevant. Congrats.
Andrew Goudelock: I’m sure a lot of people are going to support him. As well as I do. That’s your choice. If you want to come out, that’s all you.
Ernie Grunfeld: 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.
James Harden: “That’s actually my first time hearing that. I don’t know what to say. I’m really focusing on Game 4.”
Roy Hibbert: “I have no problem with openly gay men. More power to them. We live in a day in age where people are more accepting as opposed to years ago. Him and his family may have some adversity in the coming days and weeks, but I have no problem with it.”
Kirk Hinrich: “It doesn’t really change what kind of person he is or anything. He’s a good guy and that’s just who he is.”
Julius Hodge: My 1st Jason Collins thought : Is his contract expiring? If so what team would sign him? A smart owned team! #fillseats ATL? Golden State?
Lionel Hollins: We have gay people in everyone’s family. Whether they’re ready for it or not isn’t the issue. It is what it is.
Al Horford: @jasoncollins34 was a complete professional and a great teammate. I support him in his decision and wish him all the best in the future.
Andre Iguodala: “I don’t have any problems with anybody – we’re playing basketball, I don’t care what you are, as long as you can play, you play. Just me being a teammate, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. as long as you can play ball, that’s what I came here to do, to win – so if you can help me win, I don’t have a problem at all.”
LeBron James: “I think it’s very noble on his part. I think it’s a strong thing to do, and I think as NBA players, we all offer him our support.”
Joe Johnson: “Jason Collins was one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. I respect his tremendous courage to come out and will always support him.”
Larry Johnson: “Ppl ! this is nothing against Jason or homosexual’s,all I’m saying is this don’t belong in a man’s locker room. … I don’t judge anyone!! I have fallen short of the grace of Allah myself, but stop trying to make this acceptable.”
Magic Johnson: Jason Collins has announced that he is gay. I know Jason and his family well and I support him 100%.
George Karl: “I think it’s good that someone has come forward, and I hope it opens the door for everybody to be aware that this is part of our society. How long it will take to everybody understand that, will it be five years, 15 years, 50 years? But it’s been a part of our society, and now with it out on the table and being honest with it is something that our society needs to step up and understand it’s the way to go.”
Steve Kerr: Jason Collins’ courageous act will impact many lives and help to create more tolerance in sports. Proud to have him representing the NBA.
Jason Kidd: Jason’s sexuality doesn’t change the fact that he is a great friend and was a great teammate.
Bernard King: It is VERY IMPORTANT to be yourself – Jason Collins @jasoncollins34 is being himself – good for him
Billy King: “Jason Collins was a vital member of the New Jersey Nets for six and a half years, and as an executive with a competing NBA team, I always respected the standard he set for team play and the example he set for the league in playing with integrity and purpose. He exemplifies everything we look for in players, and for those players and associates within our organization, our primary focus is creating the most accepting and respectful environment for everyone to succeed.”
Stacey King: S/O to @jasoncollins34 for showing the strength to come out and be who he wants to be & the courage to stand up and be proud. #realtalk2
Brook Lopez: “It is an honor for me to call Jason Collins a friend. I admire his dignity as well as his courage to come out. I’ll always have his back.”
Kevin Love: Happy for @jasoncollins34 in his decision. A great teammate and friend. Thanks for helping me through my rookie season!! #classact #courage
Mark Madsen: Played NBA +college w/ @Jasoncollins34 -tremendous human being and PHENOMENAL teammate, leader, friend.Look forward 2his continued success!
Karl Malone: “Let’s just cut through the skinny … I’m proud of the young man,” Malone told 95.7 FM on Thursday. “Isn’t it about time that we stopped wasting so much time on what a person prefers?”
Kenyon Martin: “Once you read the article you understand what he was going through on a daily basis. … He was my friend before, he’s still going to be my friend.”
Luc Mbah a Moute: “Gay people are part of this society – we live with them, they’re our friends, our co-workers and now they are our teammate. It was going to happen some day or another. It just happened to be (Monday).”
Mike Miller: “Listen, we come out here to do our job just like everyone else. It doesn’t matter if you’re a basketball player or if you’re going into an office. It’s the same thing.”
Steve Nash: The time has come. Maximum respect. RT @Baron_Davis: I am so proud of my bro @jasoncollins34 for being real.
Emeka Okafor: Proud to support my teammate and friend @jasoncollins34. Stay true to you!
Shaquille O’Neal: 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
Zaza Pachulia: 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
Tony Parker: 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.
JJ Redick: “I don’t think he’ll be received any differently. There shouldn’t be any reason you would view him differently.”
Doc Rivers: “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, it’s not up to you, it’s just me being me.’”
Robert Sacre: I don’t view him any differently than just another basketball player, another guy. Whatever you want to do off the court, go do it. As long as it doesn’t interfere with our basketball, it doesn’t affect me.
Nolan D. Smith: I salute @Jasoncollins34 for the courage it took for him to come out today and be who he truly is. #support #NBAFamily
Jerry Stackhouse: “I don’t think he’s crossed the line in any way. I’m going to support him 100 percent and will encourage other guys to support him.”
Jared Sullinger: Much respect to @jasoncollins34 for doing what he is doing…. He was a great teammate and I support you either way…
Garrett Temple: Much respect to my teammate @jasoncollins34 for being #real
Isiah Thomas: @Jason Collins, the NBA family has always been about acceptance and equality for all. Stand tall you have more supporters than haters.
Nick Van Exel: S/O to my boy @jasoncollins34 stay strong and be blessed. Still going to whoop you on the golf course. Lol
Jan Vesely: 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
Dwyane Wade: Jason Collins showed a lot of courage today and I respect him for taking a stand and choosing to live in his truth. #nbafamily
John Wall: I am proud of my brother @jasoncollins34. Great teammate and mentor!
Luke Walton: “He has always been a great competitor and a gracious winner. He comes from a great family and if coming out has given him peace of mind and happiness, then I’m proud of him for doing it. Everybody deserves to be happy. In the world we live in and the spotlight that is on professional athletes this must have taken a lot of courage, which speaks to the type of person he is.”
Earl Watson: Great character from a great family! That’s all that matters! @jasoncollins34 #respect
Martell Webster:</a>슠@jasoncillins34 [sic] you have made sports what it should be and that’s “OPEN” proud of you for being you. That’s jump shot is still weak lol.
David West: My only issue with Collins is his “Im Black” buffer…
Royce White: As a firm supporter of the LGBTT, of course I support & applaud @jasoncollins34 brave decision. Facing stigma head on, thank you.
Damien Wilkins: Very proud of and happy for one of the coolest and most down to earth guys I know @jasoncollins34. #Fwhatpplthink
Jay Williams: Jason Collins comes out & speaks his truth. #NBA
Randy Wittman: My thoughts & everything are the same… He’s a quality individual as well as a quality player
Mike Woodson: “I have the utmost respect for him,” he said. “He was a hard playeer for me and the decision that he made, we gotta live with it. I mean, that’s his personal life and life goes on, we gotta move on. It’s something we can’t hide. It’s out there. He was man enough to step forward to express his feelings about it, and hey, we all know now so hey, he’s gonna live his life and I gotta game to win tomorrow night here in New York.”
Metta World Peace: “You should be free to act and do what you want to do, as long as it’s not violent. I came here in a Cookie monster shirt because I wanted to. I was going to wear the pants and the hat, too, but I thought you guys would judge me. And I don’t watch Mitch to judge me. But I should have worn it. You should be free to do and act how you want to act.”
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Mike Aviles: “Jason Collins has a lot more courage than probably anybody else around right now. I’m sure there are people who want to come out and they’re just afraid of the negativity of it. For him to still be in the league and going into free agency, I tip my cap. At the end of the day, you have to be who you are. Obviously, him being gay doesn’t affect him being a basketball player.”
Dusty Baker: “It’s not really what I think. It’s what his teammates think. Maybe he feels better. That’s what counts. That’s why he came out and said it. It takes weight off of his shoulders. All I know is, people want to know your reaction to something somebody else does. It doesn’t matter what my reaction is. It’s his thing.”
Travis Blackley: “I think it’s impressive that he came out with it, and more power to him for it. I don’t think it’s going to be as big of a deal as it might have been 20 years ago. I think he definitely showed guts to come out with that, and I’m sure a weight has been lifted off his shoulders, doing that.”
Jerry Blevins: “I’m impressed. It takes such courage, especially in an environment of pro sports, to come out. I’m proud that I play sports in today’s era where somebody can be openly gay, and I’m excited for a future where kids that feel the same way that [Collins] does have someone to look up to and say, ‘I can be myself and I can also be a world class athlete.’”
Jay Bruce: “I’m happy for him. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live your whole professional life basically in secrecy. I don’t think anyone should let society pigeonhole them into thinking something is right or wrong. I’m happy he did it for himself. I am sure it’s a pretty big weight lifted off of his shoulders now.”
Billy Butler: “I’d hope that people would be professional and that they would realize that he made his own decision and that he’s there to win a ballgame each day, and that has nothing to do with what type of person he is. I would handle it like he’s still like my brother.”
Jose Canseco: hug for jason @jasoncollins34
Juan Castro: I think it’s a huge step. It takes a pretty brave and courageous person to be the first one. Hopefully, it leads to more guys being comfortable in the fact that once they see that become acceptable by his colleagues and society, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if guys feel comfortable enough to do it. I don’t think it should be something they should hide.”
Phil Coke: “He’s going onto that stage alone, and he’s taking on representing himself and his entire community. Not only that, but at this point, he’s representing every major sport in America. That takes a great deal of intestinal fortitude. I have the utmost respect for him.”
Brandon Crawford: “I think just in general it might give people a little more courage to come out, if they feel that way, to tell people. I think he’s gotten pretty accepting responses. That’s a good thing. He doesn’t have to hide who he is anymore. That’s great for him.”
Coco Crisp: “For me, it’s not a big deal. There are people that are real religious and think a certain way, but as far as anyone that has something they want to share with the world and they feel like it’s going to help them and maybe others, then I’m happy for that person.”
Aaron Crow: Good for Jason Collins. I’d be proud to call him a teammate if I played in the NBA
Jeff Francoeur: “I absolutely think he’d be accepted. I think it’d be a tough go. That’s just seems to be society’s thing, especially in sports. It definitely would be interesting, for sure. But he’d definitely be accepted. I think if it were someone on our team, we’d treat him the same.”
Terry Francona: “I don’t know if it’s just our game of baseball. I think you’re talking about life in general, which is probably more important. I’ve never thought about it, because if you have an Indians uniform on, and you can hit, or you can pitch, that’s what we care about. That, and behaving yourself. That’s what’s important to me.”
Sam Fuld: “Jason and Jarron were seven-foot twins, so they had a big presence on campus. I think they were pretty well-respected and well-liked, a pretty popular duo on campus. I think it’s a pretty big deal. And I think you’ll probably see a snowball effect, and within a year, it probably won’t be seen as such a big deal. But because he’s the first, I consider it pretty monumental.”
Jason Giambi: “I applaud him. That’s probably been weighing on his soul for a long time. I’m happy that he’s happy, because life’s tough enough. If that’s what makes him happy, I’m excited for it. I definitely think times have changed, there’s no doubt. There’s a place for a gay baseball player, or an alternative lifestyle, however you want to put it. There’s room. I know this is a good ol’ boy’s game, but it’s definitely changed. Society has changed. People have opened themselves up more to it.”
Kirk Gibson: “I would have no reaction to it at all. I would want to know if he could play tomorrow, how his arm is feeling or if he can swing the bat. That’s where my focus would go.”
Joe Girardi: I believe as men and women, we’re called to love others [regardless of] their race, their religion, their thought process, whatever they do. We’re not called to judge. I think part of judging people is probably what gets us in a lot of trouble in the world. As far as me personally, he’s a player — he’s a man. My job is to be his friend and love him. If I was his manager, it’s to get the most out of him. If I was a player, I always felt it was as a player to be the best teammate that I could be. That’s the bottom line.”
Paul Goldschmidt: “It wouldn’t change the way I think of another teammate or player or coach or front office or whoever. Everyone makes their own decisions and has their own way of life and I’m open to whatever everyone wants to do.”
Jason Grilli: “People are going to be people, they can’t change being who they are. If you can figure out a way to be a good player, and guys can accept that … I’m sure there have been plenty of [gay athletes] who just haven’t come out. Maybe he’s going to be the Pied Piper and more will come out now. Who knows?”
LaTroy Hawkins: “Everybody knows somebody who’s gay. If you can’t deal with it in 2013, you need to go somewhere and hide in a cave.”
Greg Holland: “What he does in his personal life is fine. I think we should all respect that. He’s a grown man and he can make his own choices. I know it’s a tough decision to come out openly — it takes a lot of courage.”
Jared Hughes: “I think it’s great. He’s being honest, being himself and he’s an inspiration to the community. I think it’s a really good thing. Honestly, and I can can only speak for myself personally, I would be totally comfortable and happy [if that happened]. I can’t speak for everybody, but I can speak for myself and say that would be a very good thing.”
Brandon Inge: “The way I look at it, everyone’s equal, or at least it should be that way. If someone is not bothering you, then … and the same rules go for the clubhouse — inside, we’re all a family. If you have a child, you’re still gonna love him, gay or not gay.”
Elliot Johnson: “For him to be in that situation and you think about the entire culture of macho men and the type of things that are created, I’m sure it’s not an easy thing at all. For me personally, I don’t have a problem with it and if that helps him sleep better at night, so be it.”
Evan Longoria: “I’d much rather a guy who is dealing with those sorts of things either be open about it in the clubhouse or in the media or both. Because I feel like it’s something that probably eats away at people for a long time. I’m happy for him. I’m happy that he had the courage to do it.”
Jed Lowrie: “We spend a longer period of time together and probably in a closer environment than other sports, but at the end of the day I think this is a place of business,” the A’s shortstop said, “and you have to have the separation between your professional life and your personal life. If someone can help the team win, that’s what it’s about.”
Joe Maddon: “It’s just how we work as human beings. Somebody has to be courageous and take a stand and then, of course, it becomes more accepted mainstream-wise, and then there’s no conversation, it’s just how we live. I’m very happy that it did occur. I’m a big believer in gay rights. So it’s going to work out well.”
Justin Masterson: “I’m sure he feels good about it. . . . I just think there is a lot more stress on it than there should be. If you come out and say you’re straight, fine. If you come out and say you’re gay, fine. If you come out and say bi-sexual, fine. Now let’s go play ball. I don’t want you to hide who you are.”
Don Mattingly: “It seems a little bit like a Jackie Robinson type thing to me. He’s crossing some barriers. I think it will be interesting to follow and see what happens.”
Brandon McCarthy: “I think it’s awesome he had the courage to do that and I hope it leads the way for more people to be comfortable to do the same. There shouldn’t be a fear surrounded around it. I just hope he can resume his life as normal as possible after this.”
Bob Melvin: “A person’s a person to me. If he’s a good person, a good baseball player, we’d welcome him here. We welcome all kinds here, and I think it’s good. We embrace that as an organization. We would absolutely have no issues with that at all.”
Miguel Montero: “It’s his life and he’s free to do whatever he wants. I just worry about me. It’s his decision; you can’t say much about it. If he’s happy, I’m happy.”
Vinnie Pestano: Jason Collins that is an entirely different kind of courage. Maybe one day this wont be news at all and we can accept ppl for who they are
Trevor Plouffe: “I’m happy for him. It’s amazing that it’s taken this long [for someone to come out]. I have no problem with it at all, and hopefully it opens the door for more guys to come out, so they can feel like themselves and not have to hide something.”
Bo Porter: “Anybody should be able to live their life in the manner in which they choose to live it. I respect him for his honesty. I don’t know Jason Collins, but it wouldn’t make me treat him any differently. I believe in fairness and letting people be who they are”
David Price: “It does take a lot of courage to do something like that when you’re a professional athlete.”
Sergio Romo: “Things really do get better. Everybody has their own sense of individuality. If that’s what makes him him, then OK. More power to him for having the courage.”
CC Sabathia: “Good for him — he can be honest and not have to live a lie. It’s tough for somebody to come out and do that, be the first guy. I’m sure it took him a while to come out with it and be good with it.”
Kevin Slowey: “I feel like everybody on my team, everybody on every team, deserves to be loved by their teammates for whatever type of person that they are.”
Nick Swisher: I will always support people for being who they are. Happy for @jasoncollins34 that he can lead an honest life.
Vernon Wells: “Maybe it did [happen]; maybe you guys didn’t hear about it, not publicly. If someone comes out, they come out and it takes a strong person to do it. He’s going to have to deal with a bunch of different things from a media standpoint, whatever it may be. If it happens, it happens.”
CJ Wilson: “It’s very courageous of him to come out. My biggest concern was the social ramifications, for friends and family and teammates and stuff like that. But he addressed that – pretty well, I think. It was a very articulate article. I read it. It’d just be interesting to see if a team picks him up.”
David Wright: “If you can play the game, I don’t care the color of your skin, sexual orientation, religion. If you can play the game, come on in. Welcome. All that matters to me is you go out there and you can compete.”
Kevin Youkilis: “It’s his life, and if he felt that was the best thing to do in his life, that’s a good thing. If he feels at ease in life, that’s a good thing for him.”
Gerald Alexander: Jason Collins freed himself from the prison of secrecy and can finally to live his life as he chooses. Good for him.
Brendon Ayanbadejo: By @jasoncollins34 opening doors & doing it his way on his time he has helped shape a more accepting America. May many more follow #courage
Jerry Azumah: That takes Courage.
Connor Barwin: Good for Jason Collins
Kevin Boss: Much respect for @jasoncollins34 who has chose to stand tall in a world filled with ignorance and hate
LeRoy Butler: ”NFL players have told me they won’t play with a gay player. But if the top quarterback of the next 10 years comes out in his prime, you’re gonna accept it because he can throw for 4,500 yards and take you to the Super Bowl. If he can’t play, that’s one thing. But if he can play, you don’t care.”
Tony Dungy: “I don’t agree with Jason Collins’ lifestyle but think he deserves respect and should have opportunities like anyone else!”
Scott Fujita: As a father of twins, I have an even deeper appreciation for the example you’re setting. Thanks to you both. @jasoncollins34 @jarronctwin
TY Hilton: “If it ever happens in this locker room, we’re a family, we’re a team. I would have that person’s back and I would always be there for them if they want to talk about anything. You’ve always got to be there for them. You never want to judge anybody.”
D’Qwell Jackson: “I respect & support.”
Lawrence Jackson: “I don’t think it would be a problem at all. When I think of a ‘problem,’ I think of guys talking down to him or stuff like that. I don’t think that will happen in any locker room.”
Chad Johnson: “I’m sure there were, who cares though [about having a gay teammate]?”
Chris Kluwe: Big kudos to @JasonCollins34. Living proof that your sexuality has nothing to do with your athletic ability.
Pat McAfee: ”I think it’s a generational thing. Our locker room, a younger generation, is very much more accepting because we’ve been around more gay people. In the recent years, gay folks have been much more open. A lot of us have gay friends and we kind of understand that they’re just like us, they’re just interested in different things.”
Matt Overton: Respect Jason Collins for stepping out. Live your life man! Hope people will respect him as a teammate & as a pro athlete.
Carson Palmer: ”In our locker room I think he would be accepted very easily,” Palmer said. “I’ve been around the league a long time and you play with a lot of guys from a lot of different backgrounds, and that’s just the world we live in. I don’t think there would be any issues in this locker room. I think guys would accept him. All the locker rooms I’ve been in, in fact, since I’ve been in the NFL, I think he would be accepted very easily.”
Cory Redding: At the end of the day, we’re all up in here to play football. And that’s all I care about you doing. What you do in your own time is your own time. … I have no ill feeling toward a player that was to come out.
Asante Samuel: “Straight people are not announcing they’re straight, so why does everybody have to announce their sexuality or whatever? You know, what they prefer. So that’s just how I see it. That’s my opinion on things. All respect you know, I have nothing but respect for the people whoever decisions they make and whatever.”
Barry Sanders: I would like to pledge my support to Jason Collins, and hope someday that we only get judged by our accomplishments.
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!!
Greg Toler: It’s not about your homosexuality or what you do in your spare time. As long as you come in here and work toward one common goal, to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, it’s not that big of a deal. … It’s not a big deal at all. And I think it makes our world better to have different types of people.
Mike Wallace: “All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys.”
Hines Ward: “I don’t think football is ready, there’s too many guys in the locker room and, you know, guys play around too much. Hopefully, one guy comes out of the closet and (will) be comfortable with himself. I don’t have anything against a gay football player or a gay person period, so if he does, he has support from me. I want people to live their lives for who they are and don’t have to hide behind closed doors to do that.”
Reggie Wayne: “I don’t know him per se, but if that was to happen on our team, I would definitely support him as a person first. I would definitely have his back and at the same time support him as a teammate.”
Kevin Bieksa: “I think that’s great. I’m still surprised it took so long for somebody to come out. I know it probably took a lot of strength and courage from him.”
Randy Carlyle: “It doesn’t surprise me that there is a player that would do it (come forward), you knew it was going to happen sometime, but I guess it is surprising that it happens today.”
Daniel Cleary: “As a professional hockey player, I thought it was courageous of him, and I personally have no problem if a teammate or another hockey player came out and said they were gay. Absolutely no issue at all. Would be treated the same as any other teammate.”
Steve Eminger: “It’s a personal choice. It’s who he is as a person. You’re not going to judge anyone on their sexuality. He plays basketball and that’s all you should be worried about. What he does on the court and in the locker room is the only thing that’s important.”
Jimmy Howard: “It wouldn’t bother me one bit. Not one bit.”
Joffrey Lupul: “It takes a lot of courage by him and, hopefully, it leads to more people being able to be comfortable with that.”
Niklas Kronwall: “I think I’d be, ‘Good for him that he can finally come out and really be himself. Kudos to him. I don’t think I’d react either way, to be honest with you. He’s just another human being.”
Henrik Lundqvist: “When that came out two weeks ago, the You Can Play campaign, you just hope that everybody can be comfortable and be who you want to be and don’t feel pressured. I think the more you talk about it and the more people who know about it, I think more and more people are going to be comfortable coming out and be who they are. I think that’s important that you get the respect from everybody. It doesn’t matter who you are and what you stand for, it’s important that, especially, here in this sport, we want to show that we respect everybody.”
Cory Schneider: “It’s exciting to hear about. Hopefully, it’ll open the door for more guys to make that step. Hopefully, we’ll look back at that and say that was the turning point and the place where gay athletes were coming out in the four major sports.”
Marc Staal: “He’s the first, right? While he’s playing? That’s great that he has the comfort level to do that and be around an atmosphere that will accept it and go from there. So that’s great.”
Bubba Watson: “The Bible says you’re not supposed to be gay, and so I never downed Jason,” Watson told Golfweek, referring to his tweet this week, which said “Thanks @Chris_Broussard for sharing your faith & the bible!! #GodIsGood.”… Watson commented, “I’ve met Jason, said, ‘Hey,’ to him, because he used to play for the Suns when I had the Suns tickets. I respect anybody that’s gay.”
Michelle Wie: So proud of my fellow @StanfordAlumni alum @jasoncollins34 !! #equalityforall #brave
Megan Rapinoe: “Hopefully he can pave the way for other gay men in sports to be able to live free. I really do feel like it’s all coming together now, the dominos are starting to fall in a positive direction in all aspects of the LGBTQ community and it’s such an exciting time.”
Robbie Rogers: I feel a movement coming.
Mardy Fish: Good for you @jasoncollins34. Proud to call you my friend. Good luck with everything!
Justin Gimelstob: So happy 4 @jasoncollins34 total respect for him as an athlete/advocate. He has a lot of courage and deserves everyone’s full support.
Billie Jean King: I am thrilled @JasonCollins34 was able to come out on his own terms and, as he put it, is ready to continue the conversation. This is a day of celebration for the LGBT community and for all of us. I look forward to the day when the news of anyone coming out, is a non-issue and once we reach that point we will know we have arrived.
Michael Joyce: Maybe Collins would of average more than a point and a half this year if he were straight #looking4attention
Martina Navratilova: Well done Jason Collins- you are a brave man. And a big man at that:) 1981 was the year for me- 2013 is the year for you:)
Andy Roddick: Props! @jasoncollins34
Michael Russell: Total respect for @jasoncollins34 way to be an innovator in professional sports
Rennae Stubbs: @jasoncollins34 thank you Jason ! let the conversation begin @AthleteAlly you will be loved & embraced by those that love & care & matter
Dwayne Johnson: Being real & authentic is very powerful. Well done Jason Collins for having the courage to take a monumental step forward. #LiveReal
Ben Cohen: Congrats and its Great to see NBA player Jason Collins comes out as gay, first active athlete in the USA big leagues!!