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Bill Clinton Supports First Openly Gay NBA Player: ‘Proud to Call Jason Collins a Friend’

The 34-year-old center comes out of the closet in Sports Illustrated and receives celebrity encouragement on Twitter.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

April 29, 2013 - 10:14 am

Former President Bill Clinton, who just joined Twitter this month, applauded the decision of NBA player Jason Collins to come out as gay.

Collins, a center for the Washington Wizards, wrote a lengthy piece for the May 6 issue of Sports Illustrated explaining his decision.

“I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I’m different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand,” Collins wrote.

Many well-known names quickly rallied to his defense on Twitter, including Clinton.

“I’m proud to call Jason Collins a friend,” Clinton tweeted, linking to a longer statement at 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. “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.”

*****

Cross-posted from the PJ Tatler.

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
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So....you're gay. I don't care. Go play basketball.

50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why the hell does this matter? I don't care about the private lives of my athletes until they become a distraction from the performance on the field. Michael Vick's dog fighting became a negative distraction, maybe Plaxico Burress ... you get the idea. Who someone's significant other/partner isn't part of that distraction, so I don't know why Collins feels we all need to know which gender he prefers. It doesn't make him a better basketball player to sleep with men does it? No? Then keep it to yourself the same way every other basketball player does and stop being an attention hog.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Why the hell does this matter? I don't care about the private lives of my athletes until they become a distraction from the performance on the field. ..."

One shudders to imagine.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
What the hell is Willie running for?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Collins has a right to earn a living anyway he wants despite some potentially awkward lockerroom moments.

Side effect of Obama is that he has moved black people to the left socially. My black teammates in HS sincerely advised me that homosexuality was for whites only. Not unlike Ahmadinajad declaring Iran to be a gay free zone.

Powerful forces (Geffen-Democrats-Media-Shrinks-nurses-teachers,...) have big plans. They will take away tax exemption from churches that declare homosexuality to be a disorder. Right now they are ginning up opinion that we are haters. Soon they will declare us mentally ill require their version of a loyalty oath -- affirming homosexuality as normative-upright behavior. Down the road they will attempt to extinguish any kind of gender roles. I live in the belly of the beast -- where there are some very angry people with a grudge against Christianity. My apologies for sounding harsh. But give them an inch and they take a mile.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
BUT!!!!
Which one gets the Lewinski?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can he shoot better than 2 of 22?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"... 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."

Could ol' hound-dog Bill not say the same about those men who are not gay and oppose that lifestyle? Or, is it as always, he wants to be on the bandwagon of the moment?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wish all this "victimhood" really was about inclusiveness, but it's not. The activisists for each of the aggrieved sub-segments of society are busy breaking down and denigrating the behaviors and lifestyles of the rest of us while demanding tolereance for those they claim to "represent." Be as gay as a godamned blade if you want to be, but don't attack "heteronormative" behavior in the process. We'll include you if you don't exclude us.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
A 34-year-old free agent, with no contract for next season? I wonder how many GMs will be called homophobes for not signing him if he doesn't get picked up in the off season.

But that had nothing to do with it, I'm sure.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
And? So he's gay. Who cares?

Be gay. Be straight. Be curvy. I don't care. 99% of the people in the world don't care either.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah. Can we just go back to DADT across the board. What *business* is to us what sexual practices people do on their own time? As long as no one is being abused, or forced, or raped, and so long as children and minors are not concerned, DROP IT. But of course, this is not about sexual civil liberties. It is about politics. On the Left, *everything* is about politics. Hence Clinton's fatuous response to the "big news" on Monday's sports page. Ugh.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, we wouldn't care if you didn't try to make it something we should all care about like he just did.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Now that is one stupid reply.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
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