This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
in one of the four major U.S. pro sports leagues, and he ho pes he may have made the path easier for others to follow. Mike and Mike International Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova dishes on the impact of J ason Collins' announcement, what life was like after coming out in 1981 and more . More Podcasts » Collins sat down for an interview that was aired by ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday, one day after the veteran NBA center revealed his sexuality in a fi rst-person story posted on Sports Illustrated's website. "I think, I know, in my personal life, I'm ready, and I think the country is rea dy for supporting an openly gay basketball player," Collins told ABC's George St ephanopoulos. ABC aired the interview in two segments, with Stephanopoulos asking Collins in t he second portion whether he hoped that other players would follow his example. "I hope that every player makes a decision that leads to their own happiness, wh atever happiness that is in life," Collins responded. "I know that I, right now, am the happiest that I've ever been in my life." Collins said he went through something akin to a 12-step program while deciding to come out, dealing with emotions such as anger and denial. "But when you finally get to that point of acceptance, there's nothing more beau tiful than just allowing yourself to really be happy and be comfortable in your own skin," Collins said. More From ESPN.com Rick Reilly talks to some of Jason Collins' friends, including his ex-fiancé Carlo yn Moos, about his recent announcement that he is gay. Story Maybe the most telling aspect of Jason Collins' revelation is just how pedestria n it all seems. It was the same scene that has played out millions of times in h omes across the world, Tim Keown writes. Story A human being simply can't live in fear of their own identity. Jason Collins und erstood that, which fueled his decision to come out as an openly gay man, writes Kevin Arnovitz. Blog Radio: Mike & Mike | Jared Max MacMahon: Cuban hopes doors open 5-on-5: Is the NBA ready? Dozens of NBA players sent messages to Collins after the story was posted Monday , many doing so through social media. The support didn't stop there, with Presid ent Barack Obama also calling to offer his support. "It's incredible. Just try to live an honest, genuine life, and the next thing y ou know you have the president calling you," Collins said. "He was incredibly su pportive and he was proud of me, said this not only affected my life but others going forward." Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Obama said Collins showed the progress th e United States has made in recognizing that gays and lesbians deserve full equa
"I don't think football is ready. former Steelers receiver and NBC analyst Hines Ward said Tuesday that he d oesn't think the NFL is ready. "It's 'Martina Navratilova. perhaps feel more free to come out to their teamm ates . lesbian tennis player. Still." Navratilova said Tuesday in an interview with ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in the M orning" that the fact Obama called Collins to express his support shows how far the fight for gay equality has come. He also told ABC tha t he was overwhelmed by the reaction of tennis legend Martina Navratilova. There's too many guys in the locker room and. He deserves to live the life he wants." Collins said he does not know of any other gay NBA players. "To come out publicly like Jason did or like I did. But this does alleviate some of the pain. but it was the right one. "Calling off the wedding was obviously a tough decision.. Hopefully. however. "I look at her as one of my heroes.lity. you know. "I don't think it's going to be like a dam that bursts open.. and added that that per son would have his support. Collins called her last w eekend to say that he was coming out. He said they deserve "not just tolerance but recognition that they're full y a part of the American family. . that's difficult because the n you get the tag. but I think players will feel more open about it. There's n o words to really describe my reaction." Collins tried to explain the conflict that he felt between his private feelings and public persona. but describes his relationship status as single.com's Rick Reilly.' " SportsNation: Collins Comes Out NBA center Jason Collins has become the first athlete in a major American team s port to come out as gay. the heterosexual tennis player.. Ward said he hopes some player has the courage. not have to do it publicly but at least to their teammates and front of fice. because I knew I wasn't getting marr ied for the right reasons. I'm so happy for him. guys play around too much. going forward. I can be someone else's role model." she said. ." he told NBC Sports Radio. friends and family. "I tried everything in the book as far as trying to convince myself to lead the life that you should." Collins told ABC. .. the dignity and class that she's lived her l ife and all that she's achieved in her career. ' They don't say 'Chris Evert.. who c ame out in 1981 and called him a pioneer after he went public with his story." she said. "I was shocked. "I had to sit down.. She went on to explain why she still thought coming out publicly was difficult. she said she doesn't expect a rash o f athletes to follow in Collins' footsteps and come out publicly." Moos told ESPN. He dated women in the past. How did athletes around the sports world react to the n ews on Twitter? Vote: What's your take? While Collins thinks that the world is ready for an openly gay player in basketb all." Collins told Stephanopoulos that he one day hopes to be married and have childre n. staying with former Stanford and WNBA basketball player Carolyn Moos for eight y ears and getting engaged to her before calling it off. "She is my role mo del." Collins said.
Teri Jackson. "I think it's very strong of (Collins). "Takes a brave man. who he said already knew he was gay -." Collins told ABC." Celtics forward Kevin Garnett says he's happy Collins can be himself while Jason Terry says it seems like a tremendous weight has been lifted from Collins. "A team is like a family. while calling Collins "noble" and "strong. she 's good at reading people." "None of us should go around wondering about what other people think we should b e. Jason Kidd said he received a call from Collins wanting to talk about the situat ion. I have no problem with it. "It's about working hard. He will be a free agent this offseason and plans to continue his career. His own twin brother. "From my teammates." Two of Collins' teammates from the Nets teams that went to the Finals in 2002 an d 2003 count themselves among the many NBA players supporting him. had no idea about his brother's orientatio . "I commend him for him having the courage to d o it." Arguably the best player on the planet. I've got the utmost resp ect for Jason. Collins averaged 1. Coach Doc Rive rs says Collins informed him a few days ago. "When you keep telling yourself a lie. Collins offered a simpl e piece of advice. If you can play the game. "It takes a lot of courage of what he did. but learning the news was a "nonfac tor" for him. Jarron Collins. a San Francisc o Superior Court judge. Paul Pierce adds that Collins told him Monday morning he was gay. The key thing is that it's about basketball.1 points this season for the Boston Celtics and Washington Wi zards." he said. I guess. And I'm looking at it like we all support each other on and off the court . Collins said t hat the first relative he came out to was his aunt. That's what you should focus on." James said. "But it's just going to m ake the world a better place at the end of the day." Kenyon Martin said he "didn't have any inclination of anything like that" when a sked if he knew about Collins' sexual orientation when they were teammates." Kidd said."so. it's about sacrificing for your team. " Collins said. "It doesn't matter that you're gay. He was my friend before and he will still be my friend. The NBA is like a brothe rhood."I want people to live their lives for who they are and don't have to hide behin d closed doors to do that." Martin said. And Jeff Green called him an "awesome" teammate who set good screens. LeBron James echoed those sentiments Tue sday. like a CIA spy or something. It's all about dedication. In the SI piece. then that's all that matters at the end of the day. Asked by Stephanopoulos what his story could mean to youth who play basketball a nd are worried about their futures because they are gay. I'm expecting support because that's what I would do for my teammates. at some point you buy your own cover stor y." Collins said." Collins told ABC." In the second part of the ABC interview. Collins discussed what it was like to c ome out to his family and people closest to him.
laughing at his o wn joke. get a discernin g eye like she has." ABC said the interview was taped Monday night in Los Ang . "Maybe he needs to hang out with my aunt a little more." Jason Collins said. "I am really good at playing it straight.n.