Obama told a White House news conference he spoke with Collins on Monday after the NBA free agent became -- via the pages of Sports Illustrated -- the first active player in any major US professional sport to come out as gay.
“I told him I couldn’t be prouder,” Obama, who last year became the first serving president to declare his support for same-sex marriage, said at the tail end of a White House news conference.
“One of the extraordinary measures of progress that we’ve seen in this country has been the recognition that the LGBT community deserves full equality,” he added.
For young people “who are struggling” with being gay or lesbian, the president added, it is a “great thing” for Collins to have come forward as a fearless role model they can look up to.
“I’m very proud of him, alright.”