Jason Collins' announcement that he is gay drew applause from sports folks around the world, including longtime basketball veterans Jerry Reynolds and Jim Les.
Reynolds, who has worn many hats in his 28 seasons with the Kings, said there's a new era of tolerance in the NBA. Les, the UC Davis men's coach who played seven seasons in the NBA (including four with the Kings), said Collins is an inspiration for people in all walks of life.
But, Reynolds and Les agreed, Collins' announcement would not have been as warmly received within the NBA or by the public years ago.
"Society has grown a lot," Reynolds said. "Society might have accepted this news five years ago but not 25. I can't imagine anyone not supporting Jason. What Jason has done is good for the league, good for sports, good for America."
Said Les: "It takes tremendous courage for what Jason did, and I'm really glad he feels society has progressed. There's acceptance now. I don't think there will be any issues with a team or in a locker room if Jason keeps playing."
Sports can help society embrace honesty, Les said.
"Basketball is a snapshot of bringing people together, to co-exist, to thrive and to respect each other," Les said "This news won't change any of that."
What to watch
NBA playoffs, doubleheader, 5 p.m., TNT: In the opener, host Chicago can wrap up its series against Brooklyn. In the nightcap, Golden State wants to close out its series to avoid a return to Denver for Game 7.
Which major men's pro sports league would be most accepting of an openly gay athlete?
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Which country produces the best baseball players?
Dominican Republic: 38%
United States: 49%
Total votes: 191