Jason Collins made history tonight by becoming the first openly gay male athlete to play in a major sports organization after signing with Brooklyn Nets this morning.
One of the first athletes to support Collins after his announcement was Kobe Bryant, who tweeted out his admiration for Collins last year.
Before tonight’s game between the Lakers and the Nets, Bryant spoke with Yahoo! Sports Marc J. Spears, and once again had nothing but great things to say about Collins:
It’s fantastic. It sets an incredible precedent […] It’s dealing with a lot of issues for kids who are afraid to be themselves. Afraid to be themselves because of the peer pressure that comes with it. A lot of these kids have depression issues or they’re being teased from other kids for being different […] There is a kid out there who … is going to say, ‘Jason gave me strength in dark moments to be brave
Bryant is right in focusing on the other aspects of Collins playing in the NBA after coming out. The fact that Bryant, one of the most popular athletes in America, is so solidly behind Collins and his cause, will also do wonders for the mindsets of many of America’s young people.
Bryant is aware of the lack of tolerance towards homosexuality in America and with his comments, and beliefs, he is looking to change that.
NBA News: Jason Collins Introductory Press Conference (LAKERS NATION)