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Nets center Jason Collins comments on drafting of Michael Sam

May 11, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

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Jason Collins came out as the first openly gay player in a major American team sport last year, but he did so near the end of his career after having spent years hiding who he was, even from his family. Collins was picked up mid-season by the Brooklyn Nets and played 22 games for them this season.

Michael Sam made a very bold decision — the Missouri defensive end came out as gay before the NFL Draft. It was unclear how that might impact his draft status.

Sam was eventually taken by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the draft. Before the Nets playoff win over the Heat Saturday night, Collins (who helped Sam with his decision to come out) spoke to ESPN about draft, as transcribed by SNY Nets (hat tip to NetsDaily).

“This is a great day for the NFL and for Michael Sam and his family…

“I’m looking forward to seeing him progress throughout his career and obviously, he went to the University of Missouri and he is staying close (being drafted by St. Louis)…

“It takes more and more people just to come forward and show that we are normal people. We are just trying to make plays to help our respective teams win and like I said before, this is a great day for the NFL and for Michael Sam and his family.”

The more people coming forward and getting to live honestly as who they are the better for them and the better for all of us.

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