CHICAGO (AP) - Over the past week, some have called NBA player Jason Collins a role model for being the first man in a major U.S. professional sport to come out as gay.
In some ways, young athletes and their supporters have helped pave the way for pros like Collins.
Ellen Staurowsky, professor of sport management at Drexel University, says the movement has been going on quietly for decades.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith says he and others began to notice a momentum shift on college campuses by the mid-1990s. More young athletes were feeling empowered to be open about their sexuality, and the trend has only grown.
Several campuses - including Princeton, the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley - now have groups for gay and lesbian athletes.

Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Daunting challenge awaits Payton, Orlando Kevin Durant’s always been considered a proficient long-range shooter. Now that the small forward resides in Golden State, though, we’re witnessing the...
Thumbnail Lakers vs. Mavericks Pick Can the Dallas Mavericks handle their business at home when they host the Los Angeles Lakers today at 3:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Marquee matchup on tap in Buckeye State There’s no disputing that the Cavaliers flunked Monday’s test vs. the Western Conference-leading Warriors. But how will Tyronn Lue’s troops fare against the...
Thumbnail Rockets vs. Grizzlies Prediction Fresh off their loss to the Warriors, will the Rockets lose back-to-back games when they visit the Grizzlies at 8:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Blazers vs. Celtics Prediction Are the Celtics a good bet to cover the spread coming off a loss when they host the Trail Blazers today at 5:00PM ET?

NBA Team Pages