White House commends Jason Collins on coming out

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is commending NBA veteran Jason Collins for becoming the first active male player in the four major American professional sports to come out as gay.

White House spokesman Jay Carney called that decision courageous and says the White House supports Collins. He says he hopes the 34-year-old center's team will also offer support.

Carney says the White House views Collins' decision as another example of progress and evolution in the U.S. as Americans grow more accepting of gay rights and same-sex marriage. Last year, during his re-election campaign, Obama announced his support for gay marriage.

Collins disclosed he was gay Monday in a first-person account posted on Sports Illustrated's website. He has played for six teams in 12 seasons, including this past season with the Washington Wizards.