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Apr 29, 2013 11:57 PM by Zach Thaxton

NBA player's coming-out draws local reaction

Reaction continues nationwide to the coming-out of NBA player Jason Collins, who announced via a 'Sports Illustrated' essay Monday that he is gay.  Collins becomes the first male athlete from any of the nation's four major professional league sports to announce his homosexuality.

"I think it's a great thing," said Charles Irwin, Executive Director of Colorado Springs Pride.  "This is a great role model for the LGBT community, and for young people to see that somebody that is an active sports player can come out and feel comfortable and receive the support that he's receiving across the nation."

Jay Coakley, a retired UCCS professor who spent more than 30 years specializing in sports sociology, says Collins' coming-out, although historic, is really just a sign of the times.  "It certainly took some courage, but he also knows that, unlike athletes 5 or 10 years ago, that he was going to have a lot of support," Coakley said.  "I predict that we're going to see other athletes come out in the other sports and it will become less and less of a story as it goes along."

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