The biggest story of the day has arguably been Jason Collins, who came out publicly in a SportsIllustrated.com piece that was posted Monday morning. As a result, he became the first openly-gay athlete to currently be playing in one of the four major sports in the United States.
Shortly after, statements from dignitaries, both in and out of sports, came rolling in. Social media platforms and websites had messages from a lot of places and people, but in college basketball, Collins received some of the first supporting messages from his former coaches and teammates at Stanford.
Eric Reveno, who currently serves as coach at Portland and spent nine seasons as an assistant under Mike Montgomery at Stanford, coaching Collins throughout his four years on campus, tweeted out a message of support.
As a former Stanford player and coach, its a proud day.Proud of Jason’s courage/leadership and amazing response on email by his teammates.
— Eric Reveno (@CoachReveno) April 29, 2013
Other well-wishers came in the form of statements, such as Stanford Athletic Director Bernard Muir, who assumed his role last year at the school.
“I am proud to hear that Jason, one of our Stanford sons, has taken a leadership role on this topic. I applaud his decision to be true to his identity and, from his own words, start this conversation in major professional sports. On behalf of a diverse athletic community I hope that we progress to the point in society where truthful moments like these are no longer newsworthy.”
Collins’ teammate while with the Cardinal, Mark Madsen, echoed a similar statement. Madsen is currently an assistant coach with the program.
In tweet form:
Played NBA +college w/ @jasoncollins34 -tremendous human being and PHENOMENAL teammate, leader, friend.Look forward 2his continued success!
— Mark Madsen (@madsen_mark) April 29, 2013
“Jason Collins is one of the greatest people you will ever meet in your life,” Madsen said. “He is one of my all-time favorite teammates, both here at Stanford and for one season together in the NBA with Minnesota. What stands out to me about Jason is his leadership and sense of humor. Even at Stanford, Jason was involved with campus life outside of basketball. On NBA teams, he was a guy who kept everything loose and was able to bridge a lot of different gaps, whether it was international players, veterans or rookies. Basketball does not define Jason Collins. His decision to come out publicly doesn’t define Jason Collins. What defines Jason, is he is a first-rate human being who made a huge contribution to this University, and every team or community he has been a part of.”
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten