NBA center Jason Collins became the first male athlete in a major pro sport to come out as gay on Monday, and he received immediate support from a big name: former President Bill Clinton. Collins went to Stanford at the same time as Clinton's daughter, Chelsea.
"I have known Jason Collins since he was Chelsea's classmate and friend at Stanford," Clinton said in a statement. "Jason's announcement today is an important moment for professional sports and in the history of the [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] 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."
Chelsea Clinton also tweeted her support for Collins:
"Very proud of my friend Jason Collins for having the strength & courage to be the first openly gay player in the NBA. bit.ly/ZLei9F"