The Norman Transcript

National Sports

April 30, 2013

NBA journeyman comes out

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“Him being the low-end player he is, it’s not going to open enough minds,” Crowder said.

No one knows how many minds Collins’ story may have opened Monday, though it did elicit plenty of responses.

“I think it is a monumental day,” said San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels, who is active in the ‘You Can Play’ movement that is dedicated to fighting homophobia in sports. “It’s very encouraging for the LGBT community and more importantly sports in general. This is a day that’s been coming for a while.”

Many other athletes agreed.

“Gay people are part of our society,” Milwaukee Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute said. “We live with them, they’re our friends, they’re our co-workers and now they’re our teammates. It was going to happen some day or another, it just happened to be today.”

Added U.S. women’s soccer star Abby Wambach: “I think there is nothing more inspiring than to see somebody stand up, regardless of their environment, and be who they are.”

Said Detroit Tigers reliever Phil Coke: “He’s going onto that stage alone, and he’s taking on representing himself and his entire community. Not only that, but at this point, he’s representing every major sport in America. That takes a great deal of intestinal fortitude. I have the utmost respect for him.”

And this came from Toronto Raptors forward Rudy Gay: “Happy for my former teammate Jason Colllins. A true American. ‘home of the free because of the brave.”’

Welts came out in 2011, becoming the first senior sports executive to acknowledge he was gay. So clearly, he had some sort of sense about what Collins was feeling on Monday.

“He’s somebody who didn’t have the benefit of somebody going before him to sit and watch how people would react,” Welts said. “It takes a man of great courage to do what he did today. I’m happy for him. He can be the complete Jason Collins every day for the rest of his life.”

———

AP National Writer Nancy Armour and AP Sports Writers Antonio Gonzalez, Greg Beacham, Joseph White, Noah Trister, Larry Lage and Josh Dubow contributed to this report.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Pyrenees help leader Nibali, winner Rogers in Stage 16

    BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Pyrenees on Tuesday lived up to their reputation for causing ups and downs at the Tour de France: A French rider climbed in the standings, an American went down, and an Australian rebounding from an ordeal ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Mountain stage rough on Yankee rider

    BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Tour de France entered the Pyrenees on Tuesday for the first of three mountain stages that may well determine the final podium of this year’s race....

    July 23, 2014

  • Strong prefers not talking about a national title

    DALLAS — Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn’t be in the national championship game....

    July 23, 2014

  • TCU’s Fields investigated for alleged assault

    FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU suspended defensive end Devonte Fields on Tuesday pending the results of a police investigation into whether he punched a former girlfriend in the head and threatened her with a gun while shouting, “I should blast ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Sun Belt boss expresses faith in the ‘Power-5’

    NEW ORLEANS — The Sun Belt Conference’s 11 institutions are prepared to pay more to remain part of major college football, commissioner Karl Benson said Tuesday....

    July 23, 2014

  • Crunch time for Ryder Cup

    HOYLAKE, England — The end of the British Open means the Ryder Cup is getting closer, and there are a couple of regulars still not in the team. That starts with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods....

    July 23, 2014

  • Sam excited about next phase of career

    ST. LOUIS — Now it starts to get intense for Michael Sam and the rest of the St. Louis Rams rookies....

    July 23, 2014

  • Rory McIlroy appears poised to be golf’s next big thing

    HOYLAKE, England — Golf has been looking for the next big star the last five years, and Rory McIlroy is the most obvious candidate....

    July 23, 2014

  • Yankees acquire Headley from Padres

    NEW YORK — Trying to boost one of the weakest lineups in the American League, the New York Yankees acquired third baseman Chase Headley from the San Diego Padres on Tuesday for rookie infielder Yangervis Solarte and minor league pitcher ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Rays get to Wainright, win sixth straight

    ST. LOUIS — Jake Odorizzi allowed two runs over 5 2-3 innings and Yunel Escobar highlighted a five-run fifth inning with a two-run double to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to a 7-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night....

    July 23, 2014