NBA player Jason Collins made history Monday when he became the first male active professional athlete in one of the four major U.S. team sports to come out of the closet.
"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center," Collins began in an essay in this week's Sports Illustrated. "I'm black. And I'm gay."
Reaction to Collins' announcement has been overwhelmingly positive -- for the most part. Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace decided the time was right to share his opinion on the subject of homosexuality.
"I'm not bashing anybody don't have anything against anyone I just don't understand it," Wallace tweeted Monday. "All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH..."
Predictably, the tweet quickly was deleted. Wallace then went into damage control.
Never said anything was right or wrong I just said I don't understand!! Deeply sorry for anyone that I offended- Mike Wallace (@Wallace17_daKid) April, 29 2013
It's fairly remarkable that Wallace's first reaction after hearing the Collins news was to marvel at his sexual orientation. Other NFL players managed to actually grasp the moment.
Big kudos to @JasonCollins34. Living proof that your sexuality has nothing to do with your athletic ability. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/magazine/news/20130429/jason-collins-gay-nba-player/?mobile=no#all â¦ #salute- Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) April 29, 2013
As a father of twins, I have an even deeper appreciation for the example you're setting. Thanks to you both. @jasoncollins34 @jarronctwin- Scott Fujita (@sfujita55) April 29, 2013
By @jasoncollins34 opening doors & doing it his way on his time he has helped shape a more accepting America. May many more follow #courage- Brendon Ayanbadejo (@brendon310) April 29, 2013
It might be just a matter of time before a gay NFL player joins Collins in the national discussion. This is a good thing. Also good: We've reached a point where Wallace's ignorance widely is disparaged.
That wasn't always the case.
"Mike Wallace has apologized for his comments, and we have addressed the matter with him. Mike's comments do not reflect the views of the Miami Dolphins. We believe in a culture of inclusiveness and respect, and any statements to the contrary are in no way acceptable to our organization. We will address the entire team about our policy of inclusion and make sure they all understand the importance of respecting individual choices."
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.