President Obama has joined the chorus of people commending NBA player Jason Collins for coming out publicly as gay.
After revealing his sexual orientation in a Sports Illustrated first-person essay this morning, Collins was inundated with hundreds of congratulatory messages from high-profile folks — and then he got a phone call from the White House.
An anonymous White House official confirmed to the publication that the president reached out to the NBA star to personally offer his support and say that he was impressed by Collins’ courage for publicly coming out.
First lady Michele Obama joined in the congratulations, tweeting, “So proud of you, Jason Collins! This is a huge step forward for our country. We’ve got your back!”
Former President Bill Clinton, whose daughter Chelsea attended school with Collins, also acknowledged the progress made by the athlete’s announcement.
In a statement Clinton described Collins as “a good man who wants no more than what so many of us seek — to be able to be who we are, to do our work, to build families and to contribute to our communities.”