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Clinton: Athlete's announcement of being gay is an 'important moment'

By David Harten

This article was published April 29, 2013 at 11:55 a.m.

boston-celtics-center-jason-collins-left-battles-los-angeles-lakers-center-dwight-howard-12-for-a-rebound-during-the-first-half-of-their-nba-basketball-game-wednesday-feb-20-2013-in-los-angeles-nba-veteran-center-collins-has-become-the-first-male-professional-athlete-in-the-major-four-american-sports-leagues-to-come-out-as-gay-collins-wrote-a-first-person-account-posted-monday-april-29-2013-on-sports-illustrateds-website

Boston Celtics center Jason Collins (left) battles Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) for a rebound during the first half of their NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. NBA veteran center Collins has become the first male professional athlete in the major four American sports leagues to come out as gay. Collins wrote a first-person account posted Monday, April 29, 2013 on Sports Illustrated's website.

Former President Bill Clinton released a statement Monday morning in support of the first active male professional athlete in the U.S. to publicly announce that he's gay.

Jason Collins, who has played 13 NBA seasons with six different teams, made the announcement that he was the nation's first openly gay athlete still playing professionally in a piece on SportsIllustrated.com Monday morning. He is currently a free agent who last played with the Washington Wizards this season.

"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay," Collins said in the article.

The Clinton connection stems from his daughter, Chelsea, who attended college with Collins. Clinton released the statement through his foundation's website.

"I have known Jason Collins since he was Chelsea's classmate and friend at Stanford. Jason's announcement today is an important moment for professional sports and in the history of the LGBT community," Clinton said in the release. "LGBT" is a short-hand term that refers to a community of people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

"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," Clinton continued to say. "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."

Collins is averaging 3.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game over the course of his career.

Comments on: Clinton: Athlete's announcement of being gay is an 'important moment'

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Ran2133 says... April 29, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.

This is news? Who cares what Bill Clinton says, about anything!

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Landau29 says... April 29, 2013 at 1:06 p.m.

I would have to agree with you Ran2133. But, really, who cares about some athlete "coming out" and professing his sexual preferences?? And, why are we making laws because of a person's sexual preferences? This is crazy! The next thing they'll do is praise pedophiles for admitting what THEY like and, as Billy says "to be who they are". Building families? How are they going to do that when it takes and man and a woman to make babies???

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Packman says... April 29, 2013 at 1:17 p.m.

"Collins is averaging 3.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game over the course of his career." The guy's sexual orientation is irrelevant. How did a guy with numbers like this stay in the NBA for 13 seasons? Just a thought, but if gay men are taking showers with straight men in NBA locker rooms why not allow the straight female cheerleaders in the showers and locker room as well?

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PatWaverly says... April 29, 2013 at 1:28 p.m.

Clinton is not only the first African American President but also the first Gay American President. Does this mean he will move his office from Harlem down to the Village?

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LevyRat says... April 29, 2013 at 2:42 p.m.

What about cigar sex Bill? What about those who like sex rough? What about whips, chains and bondage Bill, why did you leave these out? You mean people suck!!!

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drs01 says... April 29, 2013 at 3:38 p.m.

When Bill Clinton speaks.....can someone tell him to just shut up??? Sexual preference is a personal, private matter. Besides, what does Clinton know about sex anyway. He tried to convince us that oral sex was a university in Tulsa Oklahoma.

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Osage says... April 29, 2013 at 4:25 p.m.

Oh, this is just SOOO important, in fact it's time everyone know that I like to -----------------, before I-----------, and then I------------, and then right when I'm ready to -----------, I -----------and she----------, right before she -----------.Yup, I think it's time for everyone to know everyones sexual preferences. STUPID ISSUE for a dumbed down formerly great USA, celebrate useful idiots.

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djigoo says... April 29, 2013 at 4:36 p.m.

"Preference" is not the same as "identity." Sexual identity is not chosen. Such ignorance on display here!

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GWayne says... April 29, 2013 at 5:27 p.m.

Well, So he says he is gay, I hope he continues to be as good NBA Player as he has been and not make it all about his sexuailty. I love my brother whose gay, but not his sexuailty perference, but he's always talking about being gay-for last thirty years.It is not news anymore.He cant keep a job or any friends gay or other because he talks about it none stop.

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Packman says... April 29, 2013 at 8:06 p.m.

Hey goo goo - "Preference" is not the same as "identity." Sexual identity is not chosen." If this is true, goo goo, answer this: A person is born a biological male. At the age of 30 this person claims to be bisexual, presents as a tranny, and desires a medical procedure to remove his biological male parts so he can have sex with men as a re-designed man emulating a female and have sex with women emulating a traditional lesbian? And the person is taking estrogen injections to grow bigger breasts. At what point was any of this not a chosen, pre-mediatated act?

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