Twitter Reacts to Jason Collins Becoming NBA's First Openly Gay Active Player

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2013

NBA center Jason Collins, who most recently played for the Washington Wizards, has announced through a column in Sports Illustrated that he is openly gay, becoming the first active NBA player and male athlete in an American professional sport to make the announcement publicly.

Sports Illustrated @SInow

This Week's Cover: The Gay Athlete STORY: http://t.co/VWxONWHeFV COVER: http://t.co/zG3fQvm9vo

Collins is a 12-year NBA veteran, and at 34 years old, the journeyman felt it was the right time to open up and reveal who he really is to the world. While Collins will be entering uncharted waters, there is little doubt that he will be met with acceptance. 

Sports Illustrated also talked to Collins’ brother Jarron, a former NBA player, who spoke in depth about what exactly Jason is trying to gain from revealing his homosexuality:

What does Jason want out of this? He wants to live his life. He wants a relationship, he wants a family, he wants to settle down. He wants to move forward with his personal life while maintaining his life as a professional basketball player. That's all, really.

NBA commissioner David Stern was among the first to offer kind words for Collins (via Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today):

Jeff Zillgitt @JeffZillgitt

NBA Commissioner David Stern on Jason Collins: "We are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue."

Jeff Zillgitt @JeffZillgitt

More Stern: "Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 ... "

Jeff Zillgitt @JeffZillgitt

More Stern: "and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family."

Jeff Zillgitt @JeffZillgitt

More Stern: "Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career."

Stern was far from the only person who voiced support for Collins, as several NBA players also made made it clear where they stood on the announcement. 

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant showed his support to not only Collins, but to each and every person who wants to be him or herself:

Kobe Bryant @kobebryant

Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don't suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU

The always vocal Baron Davis also had Collins' back:

Baron Davis @BaronDavis

I am so proud of my bro @jasoncollins34 for being real. #FTheHaters http://t.co/IugkyZLS9y

Denver Nuggets big man Kenneth Faried, who was raised in a household with two mothers, shared his excitement:

Kenneth Faried @KennethFaried35

Wow this is amazing all smiles.. So so happy Jason Collins came out & announce he was openly GAY ALL SUPPORT OVER HERE #ATHLETEALLY #LGBT

Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade applauded Collins for his decision to come out publicly:

DWade @DwyaneWade

Jason Collins showed a lot of courage today and I respect him for taking a stand and choosing to live in his truth. #nbafamily

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love acknowledged his happiness for Collins, whom he describes as a "great teammate and friend":

Kevin Love @kevinlove

Happy for @jasoncollins34 in his decision. A great teammate and friend. Thanks for helping me through my rookie season!! #classact #courage

As someone who has faced his own internal struggles over the past year, Houston Rockets forward Royce White thanked Collins for having the willingness to face an issue this large:

John Rohde of The Oklahoman was able to talk to Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant and get his thoughts on the announcement: 

While the athletes in the NBA made it clear that they support their brother in arms, it didn’t just stop there. Prominent celebrities across the country have stood up to applaud what Collins has done. 

Political activist Chelsea Clinton shared the happiness that she felt for her friend in this time of triumph:

Chelsea Clinton @ChelseaClinton

Very proud of my friend Jason Collins for having the strength & courage to be the first openly gay player in the NBA. http://t.co/f1VQFSsSkJ

Director/producer and perennial sideline stalker Spike Lee also jumped in to show his support:

Former New York Giants star and TV host Michael Strahan offered his unwavering allegiance:

Michael Strahan @michaelstrahan

So proud of @jasoncollins34 for having the courage to stand up and out for who he is. I support, respect and salute you!!

Robbie Rogers, a former member of the U.S. National soccer team who came out in a retirement letter, believes Collins' situation will have a powerful and positive impact:

Robbie Rogers @robbierogers

I feel a movement coming.

WWE superstar and actor The Rock also offered his support for Collins with the following statement:

Dwayne Johnson @TheRock

Being real & authentic is very powerful. Well done Jason Collins for having the courage to take a monumental step forward. #LiveReal

The biggest names in media have also come out to stand with Collins against discrimination. They not only appreciate that he became the first openly gay active NBA player, but the manner in which he did so. 

CNN’s Rachel Nichols talks about just how well-spoken Collins was in the column and what that meant for the impact of his announcement:

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

Extremely impressed w/Jason Collins coming out, and doing it so eloquently. He has played on 6 NBA teams and (cont) http://t.co/8dUdbxsB3x

NBA insiders Larry Coon, Pat Forde and David Aldridge talked about Collins and the lessons he taught the world:

Larry Coon @LarryCoon

Congrats & respect for Jason Collins, and thanks for providing what will be an excellent teaching opportunity for the rest of us.

Pat Forde @YahooForde

Jason Collins' announcement feels like a pretty significant (and welcome) evolutionary moment in the American sports culture.

David Aldridge @daldridgetnt

Jason Collins has always been a true professional. Always seek him out on his teams for perspective. Good for him. Hope he is at peace.

The hope now is that the strength and class that Collins has shown and will show throughout this experience will give others in the same position the courage to come out. As much as Collins has remained humble through this process, he has taken a huge first step in the name of equality. 

We live in a great nation that supports all kinds of people. If a player is openly gay, there is no reason he or she should be treated any differently.