Jason Collins on ‘GMA’: It’s ‘mind-boggling’ to be the first (video)

April 30, 2013
(Eric McCandless / ABC via AP)
Jason Collins and George Stephanopoulos. (Eric McCandless / ABC via AP)

Hours after becoming a household name Monday, Jason Collins spoke about how he came to be the first active athlete in a major American men’s pro sport to state publicly and proudly that he is gay.

Collins, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America,” said he being the first  is “mind-boggling.” He was waiting for someone to speak up — and then realized that he was going to have to be that someone.

“You’re sort of waiting around for somebody else to … raise their hand,” he said. “I’m ready to raise my hand but, you know, you still look around like, ‘Okay, come on, guys.’ It’s time for someone else in the room to raise their hand and say, ‘You know what? Yeah, so big deal. I can still play basketball. I can still help the team win, and that’s what’s most important.’”

After his first-person story appeared on Sports Illustrated’s website Monday, Collins received an outpouring of support that included a call from the White House.

“It’s incredible. You’re just trying to live an honest, genuine life and the next thing you know you have the president calling you,” Collins said. “[President Obama] was incredibly supportive and he was proud of me, said this not only affected my life but others going forward.”

ESPN NBA reporter Chris Broussard had a tolerant but far less supportive reaction. He was asked for his personal opinion on “Outside the Lines” and said: “I’m a Christian. I don’t agree with homosexuality. I think it’s a sin, as I think all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin … that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ.”

Collins was asked about that by Stephanopoulos and responded: “I am a Christian. I will state that very proudly…You can’t please everyone”

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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | April 30, 2013