Former President Bill Clinton released a statement on Monday heralding Jason Collins’ decision to come out as gay within a half hour of Collins’ announcement, calling it an “important moment for professional sports and in the history of the LGBT community.”
In doing so, Collins became the first openly gay, active athlete in one of the four major professional American sports.
Here’s Clinton’s full statement:
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. 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 took to Twitter to congratulate him:
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
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) April 29, 2013
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