ENTERTAINMENT
04/30/2013 12:01 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Jason Collins Congratulated By Ellen DeGeneres (VIDEO)

Eleven-year NBA veteran Jason Collins made history by coming out in a Sports Illustrated editorial that will appear in the sports magazine's May 6, 2013 issue, but hit the digital version on April 29. He became the first American male athlete in a major professional sport to come out as gay.

Ellen DeGeneres had a special message for Collins during her show. The comedian made light of the inspirational news, saying that it was more challenging for Collins to come out of the closet because he's seven feet tall.

"So when he came out of the closet, he had to duck," DeGeneres joked.

She then followed the joke by applauding the Washington Wizards player and commended him for his bravery: "You're an incredible role model. Because of you, there's a little boy playing basketball right now who knows that he can be who he is and play the sport that he loves."

DeGeneres is one of many who have applauded the 34-year-old. Yesterday, White House spokesman Jay Carney described Collins' decision as courageous and said that the White House supports the basketball player.

Unfortunately, not everyone has had something positive to say about Collins' revelation. Yesterday, national sports commentator Tim Brando tweeted that Collins is not a hero.

Check out the video above.

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

Celebrities Who Have Come Out As LGBT

CONVERSATIONS