08:40 PM EDT 07/06/2014

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Stars and Sports Figures Tweet Support for Gay NBA Player Jason Collins

Stars and Sports Figures Tweet Support for Gay NBA Player Jason Collins

Originally posted 02/24/2014 12:35PM

With 10 minutes left in the second quarter of Sunday's NBA game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers, Jason Collins stepped onto the court and made history. The 35-year-old free agent became the first gay athlete to compete in any of North America's four professional sports.

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Jason Collins Signs with the Nets, Becomes First Openly Gay NBA Player

Jason Collins Becomes First Openly Gay NBA Player After Signing with the Brooklyn Nets

Originally posted 02/23/2014 04:15PM

Jason Collins became the NBA's first active openly gay player Sunday, signing a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

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Credit: Harry E. Walker/Landov; Stephen Dunn/Getty
Lakers Star Says 'Of Course' Jason Collins Will Be Accepted by NBA

Metta World Peace: Jason Collins Is Welcome on the Lakers

Originally posted 05/05/2013 05:00PM

Jason Collins, the professional basketball player who recently announced he's gay, will have no trouble fitting into an NBA locker room, according to one All-Star.

"I'd play with him on my team," Los Angeles Lakers star Metta World Peace told PEOPLE at the Showtime pre-fight party before the Floyd Mayweather Jr./Robert Guerrero bout in Las Vegas. When asked whether Collins would be accepted in an NBA locker room, World Peace's answer was simple: "Of course."

With Collins's historic announcement in Sports Illustrated, he became the first active player in American team sports to publicly announce he's gay. For World Peace, though, the outing wasn't a big deal.

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How Jason Collins's Parents Reacted When They Learned He Was Gay | Jason Collins

Jason Collins's Parents Share How They Reacted When They Learned He Was Gay

Originally posted 05/05/2013 10:00AM

Jason Collins's parents had to change the way they thought about both the past and the future when he told them he was gay – but not in the way that counted the most.

Paul and Portia Collins both say they were shocked at their son's revelation. But they supported him almost from the moment he told them.

"Part of the process, after he told us, was to go home and kind of let it resonate, for the two of us to talk about it," Portia tells Oprah Winfrey in an interview airing Sunday on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

"And on the way home we called him. And on the way home we said, 'We love you.' "

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NBA's Jason Collins on Coming Out: 'A Huge Weight Has Been Lifted'

NBA's Jason Collins on Coming Out: 'A Huge Weight Has Been Lifted'

Originally posted 04/30/2013 08:45AM

Yes, Jason Collins feels a certain amount of pride. But he also feels enormous relief.

"I know that I, right now, am the happiest I've ever been in my life," the NBA player, who this week became the first openly gay athlete in a major U.S. team sport, tells ABC News.

"A huge weight has been lifted. I've already been out to my family and my friends, but just to, you know, sort of rip the Band-Aid off and come out on my own terms … I hope that every player makes a decision that leads to their own happiness."

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Credit: Kwaku Alston For Sports Illustrated
NBA's Jason Collins Is First Active Pro-Athlete to Come Out

NBA's Jason Collins Is First Active Pro-Athlete to Come Out

Originally posted 04/29/2013 11:40AM

NBA center Jason Collins set an historical precedent Monday, coming out as gay in Sports Illustrated.

"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay," Collins, states in the cover story of the latest SI (which, like PEOPLE, is published by Time Inc.). "I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation."

Insisting it was not his desire to be "the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different,' " Collins, who's a free agent and has played for six pro teams and appeared in two NBA Finals, goes on to say: "If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."

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