In Miami, guard Dwyane Wade tweeted that he respects Collins for “living in his truth” and forward Shane Battier said that he only judges teammates by their commitment to winning.
“Whether he is straight, gay, black, white, from Earth, or from Mars is immaterial. Just help us win,” Battier said.
Collins finished this season with the Wizards, spending months traveling, practicing, playing, dressing and hanging out with the same group of men, day after day after day.
They had no idea he was gay.
“No, I didn’t know about it! I don’t think anyone did!” Wizards guard Bradley Beal wrote in a text message. “I am proud of his decision to come out and express the way he feels and I’m supportive of that!! I never judge anyone, that’s his decision and his life to live! I always saw him as a great teammate, mentor, leader, huge asset to our team and just a vet to me! So all in all I respect what he has done.”
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis talked with Collins on Monday, saying that he told him, “we are proud of you and I support you in every way possible.”
Predictably, Collins’ message was not unanimously well received. Thousands of tweets about Collins included a gay slur. In New York, well-known sports radio host Mike Francesa called the story “a dramatic attempt to sell a magazine.”
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace had to backtrack from, delete and eventually apologize for two tweets he posted about the Collins story, in which he said he did not understand homosexuality. And on his radio show on WQAM in Miami, former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder — who said Collins was strong for coming out — questioned what effect it would have coming from a journeyman who’s likely nearing the end of his career.