We got our answer Monday when Jason Collins, who played center for the Washington Wizards this past season, announced in a Sports Illustrated article that he is a gay American athlete.
Predictably, the reactions from the sports world were a mix of the encouraging to the cringe-worthy.
On the encouraging end, the NBA was nothing less than celebratory. A front-page blog post titled “Courageous Collins Breaks Barrier” included a statement from league commissioner David Stern:
“… 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.”
Congratulatory tweets came from his colleagues and from a former U.S. president: