We were THRILLED when Jason Collins became the first openly gay and active athlete on a major American sports team — it was such a powerful moment for both Jason and the LGBT community, and the outpouring of support has been astounding!
For instance, BILL CLINTON took the time to say something about Jason:
“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.”
Uh, that's right — a former President is giving you props for being yourself! Amazeballz!
Here are some other people giving Jason verbal high-fives for being a brave pioneer for himself and the LGBT community in professional sports:
Jason’s brother Jarron Collins: “At the end of the day, this is what matters: He’s my brother, he’s a great guy, and I want him to be happy. I’ll love him and I’ll support him and, if necessary, I’ll protect him.”
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"
Spike Lee: “Jason Collins just did Beautiful Thing. Be Yourself.”
Chad Johnson: "His personal preference is just that, personal, what can he do on the court? RT: where do you stand on the Jason Collins issue?"
Kobe Bryant: “Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don’t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU”
Andy Roddick: "Props! @jasoncollins34"
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.”
Darren Rovell (ESPN): In his 1st 430 days on Twitter, @jasoncollins34 accumulated 3,700 followers. So far, on his 431st (today) he’s up 20K followers.
Washington Wizards team statement: “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.”
Ellen DeGeneres: "@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"
Chelsea Clinton: “Very proud of my friend Jason Collins for having the strength & courage to be the first openly gay player in the NBA.”
Rich Eisen (NFL Network): "Look forward to the day where announcements like that of @jasoncollins34 are not news."
Chrissy Teigen: “I dunno who you are Jason Collins but I am extremely proud of you if that means anything.”
Steve Nash: "The time has come. Maximum respect. RT @Baron_Davis: I am so proud of my bro @jasoncollins34 for being real."
Eric Stonestreet: “awesome, amazing, game changer.”
Laura Benanti: “Jason Collins is my new hero. What a brave and wonderful thing he has done. #IWillNeverTweetAboutSportsAgain”
Chris Kluwe: “Big kudos to @JasonCollins34. Living proof that your sexuality has nothing to do with your athletic ability.”
Lance Bass: “Congrats @jasoncollins34 !! Giant leap for sports – and the conversation continues!”
Baron Davis: "I am so proud of my bro @jasoncollins34 for being real. #FTheHaters"
Almost too many to mention, and they keep pouring in!!
You made the RIGHT move, Jason! We hope it's not too overwhelming!!
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: american, celebs react, first, gay, inspiration, jason collins, lgbt community, nba, out, proud, sports player