President Barack Obama telephoned NBA veteran Jason Collins on Monday, hours after the journeyman center became the first openly gay male athlete playing in a major professional team sport.
"The president called Jason Collins to express his support and said he was impressed by his courage," a White House official said.
First lady Michelle Obama also had strong words of support for Collins.
So proud of you, Jason Collins! This is a huge step forward for our country. We’ve got your back! -mo
— FLOTUS (@FLOTUS) April 29, 2013
Earlier, at the White House, press secretary Jay Carney said he hadn't discussed the Collins announcement with the president.
But "I can certainly tell you that here at the White House we view that as another example of the progress that has been made and the evolution that has been taking place in this country, and commend him for his courage, and support him in this effort and hope that his fans and his team support him going forward," Carney told reporters.