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"So proud of you, Jason Collins! This is a huge step forward for our country. We've got your back!"

First lady Michelle Obama

"I am extremely happy and proud of Jason Collins. He's a pro's pro. He is the consummate professional and he is one of my favorite 'team' players I have ever coached. If you have learned anything from Jackie Robinson, it is that teammates are always the first to accept. It will be society who has to learn tolerance."

Doc Rivers, Collins' coach with the Celtics

"I think there is nothing more inspiring than to see somebody stand up, regardless of their environment, and be who they are."

Abby Wambach, U.S. women's soccer star

"Thanks for stepping up. For standing tall. And at 7 feet, that's saying a lot."

Actor Neil Patrick Harris, who came out in 2006

"Him being the low-end player he is, it's not going to open enough minds."

Channing Crowder, Miami Dolphins linebacker

"I would say the NHL has been a force to kind of obviously embrace and encourage. . . . What (Collins) did, I think it's definitely (good) for basketball, and the same for hockey, too. It's going to be encouraging for more guys to step up and just be open about themselves."

Joel Ward, Washington Capitals forward

"I hope Jason is received well by our NBA family. Jason is a friend and a former teammate that I've enjoyed many laughs and conversations with and his sexual orientation won't change that with me."

Former teammate Jerry Stackhouse of the Brooklyn Nets

Associated Press