04/29/2013 01:09 pm ET Updated Apr 29, 2013

David Stern Statement On Jason Collins: NBA Commissioner On Gay Player's Decision To Come Out

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NBA Commissioner David Stern was quick to show his support for Jason Collins on Monday. Not long after the 34-year-old NBA center came out as gay, Stern issued a statement, calling Collins "a widely respected player."

A 12-year NBA veteran who most recently played with the Washington Wizards, Collins became the first openly gay athlete in a major U.S. professional sport. He came out and addressed his decision to do so in a moving editorial for Sports Illustrated.

Here is Stern's statement in full, via

"As Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family. Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue."

Stern was far from the only person associated with the NBA offering support for Collins' decision to come out. Kobe Bryant was among the those who chimed in on social media.



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