Kentuckiana reacts to Jason Collins announcing his sexuality

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by Claudia Coffey

WHAS11.com

Posted on April 29, 2013 at 10:13 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 30 at 12:10 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- He's the first male player, in four major American pro-sports to publicly announce he's gay on Monday, April 29.

Jason Collins announced to the world his sexuality on the Sports Illustrated website.

Since that time, Collins has been supported by the sports world, President Obama, Bill Clinton, and people right here in Kentuckiana.

NBA veteran center Jason Collins has become the first active male professional athlete to come out as gay.

Collins wrote a first person account posted on Monday, April 29, on Sports Illustrated website.

He wrote, "...if I had my way...Someone would have already done this. Nobody has...Which is why I am raising my hand."

And the sports world is reacting.  Super Bowl Champ and Baltimore Raven, Ray Lewis, Jr.  was in town on Monday night.

“For whatever reason he is doing it, he's a human being. He has free rights to do whatever he wants to do.  And if that's how he feels about life, he can do that," Lewis said.

Over all, sports fans are supportive

“A part of being Christian is not to judge. So who are we to judge? Hats off to him for being comfortable enough to come out and make that declaration," Lauren Henson said.

Another person said the following.

“For him to come out like that, he just wants to feel comfortable in his own skin. I don't think anybody should down upon him for it," Jacob West said.

The 34-year old has played for six NBA teams in 12 seasons. He finished this past season with the Washington Wizards and is now a free agent.

But not everyone is praising Collins' decision or his lifestyle. Chris Broussard is the senior editor of ESPN The Magazine.

“I’m a Christian. I don't believe in homosexuality. I believe it is a sin," Broussard said.

Chris Hartman with the Fairness Campaign says for the first major athlete in professional sport to be this honest is groundbreaking.

“It typically takes one person to break open the closet door and walk through. That's what Jason has done and I think he's going to set an example for other LGBT athletes that are out there but just haven't yet come out," Hartman said.

The White House is praising Collins for his move. Saying it's another example of progress.

Former President Bill Clinton is also asking fans and colleagues to support Collins.

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