Martell Webster Applauds Jason Collins Then Rips His Jump Shot
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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — A tweet from Washington Wizards shooting guard Martell Webster to Jason Collins hammers home a point the heads of all major sports in America want to make: the games will go on.
Webster praised his former Washington teammate for publicly announcing he was gay before taking a playful jab at his abilities as a basketball player.
“@jasoncillins34 you have made sports what it should be and that’s “OPEN” proud of you for being you. That’s jump shot is still weak lol.” Webster tweeted.
Fellow Wizard Bradley Beal also chose Twitter to publicly support Collins.
“Proud of @jasoncollins34 for expressing his feelings! Great teammate, mentor and better person !!” his tweet read.
Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward thinks Collins decision to come out will ultimately have a positive effect on hockey as well.
“What (Collins) did, I think it’s definitely (good) for basketball, and the same for hockey, too,” Ward said. “It’s going to be encouraging for more guys to step up and just be open about themselves.”
His comments follow those of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman who earlier this month said “the official policy of the NHL is one of inclusion on the ice, in our locker rooms and in the stands.”
Collins became the first openly homosexual male athlete in any of the four major sports in the United States after his first-person article appeared in Sports Illustrated.
Living in the nation’s capital last month while the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about same-sex marriage had an effect on Collins, who says “the strain of hiding my sexuality became almost unbearable” at that time.
“Less than three miles from my apartment, nine jurists argued about my happiness and my future. Here was my chance to be heard, and I couldn’t say a thing,” he writes.
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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)