Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The sports world was sent in to a frenzy Monday morning when Sports Illustrated published the story of NBA player Jason Collins who for the first time admitted he’s gay.
Collins admission made him the first openly gay player in one of the four major American sports. It was seen as a watershed moment by many in the sports and political world.
- Click here for more on what Collins had to say Monday
Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade took to Twitter Monday afternoon to support Collins, “Jason Collins showed a lot of courage today and I respect him for taking a stand and choosing to live in his truth. #nbafamily”
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant tweeted his support for Collins saying, “Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don’t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU”
Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant expressed his feelings for Collins’ decision saying, “If he’s happy, that’s cool with me. Seems like a great guy … I support him.”
Former President Bill Clinton released a statement saying in part: “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.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said, ”We view that as another example of the progress that has been made and the evolution that has been taking place in this country,” Carney said.
Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who coached Collins this year, told CBSSports’ Ken Berger, “If you have learned anything from Jackie Robinson, it is that teammates are always first to accept. It’s society that has to learn tolerance.
The newest and richest Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace said he didn’t understand Collins, but respected his decision.
“All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH…” Wallace tweeted Monday afternoon. “I’m not bashing anybody. Don’t have anything against anyone. I just don’t understand it.”
Wallace began to draw immediate criticism from some and responded saying, “Never said anything was ‘right or wrong’ I just said I don’t understand!! Deeply sorry for anyone that I offended.”
The Dolphins followed this up with a statement saying, “Mike Wallace has apologized for his comments and we have addressed the matter with him. Mike’s comments do not reflect the views of the Miami Dolphins. We believe in a culture of inclusiveness and respect, and any statements to the contrary are in no way acceptable to our organization. We will address the entire team about our policy of inclusion and make sure they all understand the importance of respecting individual choices.”