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.
– Barack Obama
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].