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Local Gay Sports Community Reacts To NBA Player Coming Out

9:59 PM, Apr 29, 2013   |    comments
Jason Collins played with the Celtics and Wizards this season, his 12th in the NBA. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- He may be the first NBA player to come out publicly as gay, but odds are Jason Collins isn't the only gay player in what's called the 'big four' sports: basketball, baseball, football, and hockey.

And if you don't believe there's more gay athletes where he came from, Brent Minor, Executive Director of Team DC explains, "We represent 3,000 athletes who are involved in 26 different LGBT friendly sports teams, everything from the runners to the rowers to the rock-climbers. "

The charitable organization promotes sports in the LGBT community and gives scholarships.

He introduced us to Craig Cassey. He's a Georgetown University sophomore, former track star, and current advocate for LGBTQ athletes.

He says today's announcement is huge, "And to come out so soon too, we never thought we'd have someone out in 2013, maybe 2 years down the road, but right now it was beyond our wildest imagination."

Cassey spent the morning celebrating and tweeting friends about the historic announcement. Cassey says Collins' stand will have an impact on young athletes who are now in junior high or high school, and that means some might make different decisions, and in doing so, even change the course of their lives.

"When I was younger I never saw that and I wondered why is there no one like me out there. I did choose track because it wasn't exactly a team sport. Having an acceptable team climate that's open to gay players will allow people to not fear being on a team and they won't have to only choose individualized sports like track or swimming or golf."

Minor adds, "It's going to be, for the next person that comes out, a little bit easier, the next person that comes out, even easier, until finally it won't be the big deal."

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