Obama Calls Jason Collins, Is 'Impressed'

But not all reactions to gay NBA player are so positive

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 29, 2013 6:57 PM CDT

(Newser) – After becoming the first active NBA player to come out as gay, Jason Collins got a phone call from the president himself. President Obama called Collins "to express his support and said he was impressed by his courage," a White House official tells CNN. Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton also praised Collins on Twitter. The Atlantic Wire rounds up more positive tweets from current and former NBA players, including retired NBA center John Amaechi, who came out in 2007 and tweeted of Collins, "Sport couldn't hope for a more eloquent & positive role model." In a statement, NBA Commissioner David Stern wrote, "We are proud [Collins] has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue."

Of course, not every reaction has been a good one: The Atlantic Wire also rounds up the five most negative reactions from well-known figures in the sports world. In one interview, ESPN reporter Chris Broussard said that anyone who is "openly living in unrepentant sin" is "walking in open rebellion to God." And NFL wide receiver Mike Wallace tweeted, then deleted, this thought: "All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys." He later clarified: "Never said anything was right or wrong I just said I don't understand!! Deeply sorry for anyone that I offended."

In a Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 file photo, Boston Celtics' Jason Collins poses during Celtics NBA basketball media day at the team's training facility in Waltham, Mass.
In a Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 file photo, Boston Celtics' Jason Collins poses during Celtics NBA basketball media day at the team's training facility in Waltham, Mass.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
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