Celebs & Athletes Praise Collins for Coming Out

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Sports figures and celebrities alike are reacting to the groundbreaking decision by NBA player Jason Collins to become the first major professional athlete to come out as gay. Below is a compilation of some of the latest comments posted on social media.

L.A. Laker Kobe Bryant: "Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don't suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others."

L.A. Laker Steve Nash: "The time has come. Maximum respect. RT @Baron_Davis: I am so proud of my bro."

Chelsea Clinton, who attended college with Collins: "Very proud of my friend Jason Collins for having the strength & courage to be the first openly gay player in the NBA."

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Bill Clinton: "I'm proud to call Jason Collins a friend."

Ellen DeGeneres: ".@NBA center @JasonCollins34 is the 1st out player on a US major league team. I'm overwhelmed by your bravery, Jason, & sending so much love."

Neil Patrick Harris: "Bravo, @JasonCollins34! Thanks for stepping up. For standing tall. And at 7 feet, that's saying a lot."

Tennis great Martina Navratilova: "It’s not easy to come out when one is still active- shouldn’t be an issue, but it is. That’s why so many don’t do it till after."

RELATED: NBA Player First Major Athlete to Come Out Gay

Spike Lee:  "what's your take on players announcing they are gay??? Jason Collins just did "Beautiful Thing. Be Yourself."

Michael Strahan: "So proud of @jasoncollins34 for having the courage to stand up and out for who he is. I support, respect and salute you!!"

Dwayne Johnson: "Being real & authentic is very powerful. Well done Jason Collins for having the courage to take a monumental step forward."

Elizabeth Banks: "Amazing story! Thanks brave @jasoncollins34: "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay."