For the first time in sports history, an active professional male athlete in a major American sports league has come out as gay.
Jason Collins is an NBA veteran. He's played for six professional teams in 12 seasons, and Monday, in a Sports Illustrated article, he announced to the world that he's gay.
Former beloved Blazer Martell Webster says his fellow Washington Wizards teammate has his full and unwavering support.
Webster says he had no idea Collins was planning to announce he was gay, but had heard that a big announcement was about to be made.
He didn't know who it was involving, or what it was about, but when he saw Collins' story break on ESPN, he felt nothing but proud.
"You know, he wasn't worrying about what the response going to be. He said ‘This is me. This is Jason Collins. I'm a black male and I'm gay.' I definitely commend him for that," said Webster.
"You love who you want to love, and you love them with all your heart. I'm happy for him, and I'm there to support it."
Webster says he knows there's bound to be backlash from Collins' jaw-dropping announcement, but points out it's nothing the league can't handle.
"When we first integrated ... in professional leagues, it was a problem, but look what happened. We all adjusted, and everyone is in favor of it. I think eventually everyone will be in favor of this, too," said Webster.
Webster says he knows Collins isn't looking to be a martyr and isn't looking for all of the attention, but is proud of the path his teammate is paving for other athletes who may be just like him.
"The fact is that we are in position now to start embracing people as they are, and that's completely in all capitals, love. That's love," said Webster.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
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