Jason Collins, NBA Player, Came Out as Gay

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 Jason Collins, NBA player, came out as gay in an upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated, becoming the first professional male basketball player to do so.  “Jason Collins’ courage should be commended,” Andre Banks Executive Director and Co-founder of All Out said. “Our members clearly agree. Hundreds of people signed a note thanking Jason Collins for breaking his silence within minutes of his announcement.”

“We hope more professional athletes come out.” Andre Banks noted. “Not only will they have an active fan base ready to support their careers, but their position as a positive role model will save lives and reduce bullying. Collins may not realize this yet, but he is a hero.”

Meanwhile,The Rev. Al Sharpton released the following statement:

The announcement made by NBA center Jason Collins today about being a gay male marks the first time a professional athlete has openly confirmed his sexuality. This is a breakthrough moment in sports and another step towards tolerance and fairness in the African-American community.

I salute the courage and candor of Mr. Collins and think he has made a great contribution to this country and I call on others in the civil rights community and the African-American leadership of all fields to embrace this development. We can’t be custodians of intolerance and freedom fighters at the same time. In order to fight for anyone’s civil rights and self expression we must fight for everyone’s civil rights. God Bless Jason Collins for helping to show us the way.

Spike Lee, among other celebrities, took to twitter to congratulate him.  "Orange And Blue Skies Salutes Jason Collins. Thank You For Your Courage,A Slam Dunk Against HOMOPHOBIA.And Dat's Da "FREEDOM"Truth,Ruth." Lee Wrote.