US President Barack Obama has told US basketball player Jason Collins that he "couldn't be prouder of him" for coming out as gay while playing in a major sports league.
Obama says Collins highlights the progress the United States has made in recognising that people of all sexual orientations are equal.
I told him I couldn't be prouder of him. One of the extraordinary measures of progress that we've seen in this country has been the recognition that the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender) community deserves full equality, not just partial equality.
An individual who has excelled at the highest levels in one of the major sports to go ahead and say that 'This is who I am. I'm proud of it. I'm still a great competitor. I'm still seven foot tall and can bang with Shaq.' [retired US basketball star, Shaquille O'Neal].
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"I definitely get less money than a male in my situation would," she said. "Definitely."