Shortly after Jason Collins came out as the first openly gay player in the NBA Monday (April 29), gay advocacy group GLAAD issued a congratulatory statement to the groundbreaking athlete.
“‘Courage’ and ‘inspiration’ are words that get thrown around a lot in sports, but Jason Collins has given both ideas a brand new context,” says Aaron McQuade, head of GLAAD’s sports program. “We hope that his future team will welcome him, and that fans of the NBA and sports in general will applaud him. We know that the NBA will proudly support him, and that countless young LGBT Athletes now have a new hero.”
GLAAD recently teamed with the NBA to provide sensitivity training to to incoming rookies, much like the NHL plans to do by teaming with “You Can Play.” The NBA has also participated in GLAAD’s annual Spirit Day for two years running. The league turns its Twitter photo purple in support of anti-bullying efforts by the LGBT community.
As part of the increasing trend toward acceptance by the professional sports community, the MLB’s San Francisco Giants produced a PSA for the “It Gets Better” campaign, featuring several of its players. GLAAD will present the team with the Corporate Leader award at the May 11 GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco.