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Obama says 'couldn't be prouder' of Jason Collins

12:18 PM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
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Washington Wizards center Jason Collins against the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center. The Wizards defeated the Suns 88-79. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

 


 


WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says he told NBA center Jason Collins that he "couldn't be prouder of him" for coming out as gay while playing in a major sports league.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Obama said Collins showed the progress the United States has made in recognizing that gays and lesbians deserve full equality. He said they deserve "not just tolerance but recognition that they're fully a part of the American family."

Collins has played for six teams in 12 seasons, including this past season with the Washington Wizards, and is now a free agent.

He made his groundbreaking pronouncement in an online article Monday, and Obama called him to express support. Obama said people should be judged on their character and performance, not their sexual orientation.

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