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NBA's Jason Collins says 'I'm gay': Celebrities react on Twitter
When NBA player Jason Collins became the first openly gay active athlete in a major American team sport, celebrities with Hudson Valley ties took to Twitter to express their opinions.
Among the first of the region's celebrities to weigh in was former Yankees catcher John Flaherty. Raised in West Nyack, the YES Network announcer and part owner of the Rockland Boulders minor-league team in Pomona commended Collins for his announcement.
I have a lot of respect for Jason Collins!!That could not have been easy!!— John Flaherty (@flash17yes) April 29, 2013
Hudson Valley celebrity tweets
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MORE: NBA's Collins comes out in SI story | Top 10 HV celebrity Twitter accounts
NBA commissioner David Stern, a Scarsdale resident, later issued a statement through the league's official Twitter account.
NBA Commissioner David Stern statement re: Washington Wizards center Jason Collins announcement today: (1/4)— NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2013
“As Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 (2/4)— NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2013
and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family. Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout (3/4)— NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2013
his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue.” #NBAFamily (4/4)— NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2013
Chappaqua resident and former president Bill Clinton, who just joined Twitter last week, used the social media network to show his support for Collins.
I'm proud to call Jason Collins a friend. wjcf.co/154piCi— Bill Clinton (@billclinton) April 29, 2013
Clinton's link led to a more in-depth statement, not bound by 140 characters: "I have known Jason Collins since he was Chelsea's classmate and friend at Stanford. Jason's announcement today is an important moment for professional sports and in the history of the LGBT community. It is also the straightforward statement of a good man who wants no more than what so many of us seek: to be able to be who we are; to do our work; to build families and to contribute to our communities. For so many members of the LGBT community, these simple goals remain elusive. I hope that everyone, particularly Jason's colleagues in the NBA, the media and his many fans extend to him their support and the respect he has earned."
Fellow Democrat Kerry Kennedy, who calls Mount Kisco home, was equally supportive, in part because Collins referenced her nephew, Joe Kennedy III, as an inspiration for making his announcement.
I realized I needed to go public when @joekennedy... told me he had just marched in Boston's 2012 Gay Pride Parade. - NBA's Jason Collins— Kerry Kennedy (@KerryKennedyRFK) April 29, 2013
Suffern Mayor Dagan LaCorte also praised Collins for the groundbreaking disclosure.
Comedians with local ties also showed respect for Collins' candor.
Rosie O'Donnell, who lives with her wife in Nyack, praised Collins as a pioneer.
Thank you Jason Collins - for being the first one - knocking down doors !!!— Rosie O'Donnell (@Rosie) April 29, 2013
Congers resident Pete Dominick, the host of the SiriusXM political talk show "Stand Up with Pete Dominick," called the moment "huge."
And former Peekskill resident Michael Ian Black of "Burning Love" reflected on how the news had influenced his life.
In light of @jasoncollins34 courageous decision, I would like to make myself available to all inconsolable females.— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) April 29, 2013
A little bit pissed today because I kind of wanted to be the first gay black NBA player to come out. :(— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) April 29, 2013
Howard Stern, who launched his professional DJ career in Briarcliff Manor, also expressed support.
Big support to @jasoncollins34.That's not an easy thing you did— Howard Stern (@HowardStern) April 29, 2013
Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist Dave Barry, who attended Pleasantville High School, was inspired by Collins to make his own revelation.
@jasoncollins34 has given me the courage to say this: I, too, am 7 feet tall.— Dave Barry (@rayadverb) April 29, 2013
Tags: Chappaqua , Bill Clinton , Jason Collins , Howard Stern , Briarcliff Manor , Mount Kisco , Kerry Kennedy , John Flaherty , Nyack , Rosie O'Donnell , Congers , Pete Dominick , Peekskill , Michael Ian Black , NBA , basketball , celebrities , Twitter , Westchester , Rockland