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Celtics coach Doc Rivers ‘proud of’ Jason Collins
Posted By Ben Rohrbach On April 29, 2013 @ 2:09 pm In General | 36 Comments
Celtics coach Doc Rivers issued this statement after former C’s center Jason Collins became the first openly gay active player  in major American sports:
“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. One of my favorite sayings is, ‘I am who I am, are whom we are, can be what I want to be. It’s not up to you, it’s just me being me.’”
Outing himself in this Sports Illustrated article , Collins quoted Rivers: “If you want to go quickly, go by yourself — if you want to go farther, go in a group.”
As recently as three weeks ago, Rivers discussed the inevitability of an openly gay NBA player . “There’ll be a lot of talk about it, and then I think it will go away,” Rivers said before a Celtics practice on April 9, the day after he took the team to watch the “42″ film about Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier.
SI’s Ian Thomsen caught up with Rivers  after Collins’ announcement on Monday.
“He is terrific,” Rivers told Thomsen. “Losing him was hard for me because I just thought he was such a great teammate and such a great guy in the locker room. That’s what you want is those guys in your locker room.”
The C’s reportedly tried to ship Chris Wilcox  to the Wizards in exchanged for Jordan Crawford but instead dealt Collins because Wilcox had the right to consent to the deal . Here’s what else Rivers told SI:
Celtics assistant coach Kevin Eastman also declared his support for Collins on Twitter.
NBA player Jason Collins: 1st pro athlete 2 publicly say he’s gay. B4 u form opinion just know he’s a GREAT human being Played 4 us @celtics 
— Kevin Eastman (@kevineastman) April 29, 2013 
Likewise, Celtics guard Terrence Williams, who played one game in green before Collins was dealt to the Wizards at the trade deadline, voiced his support on Twitter.
— Terrence Williams (@TheRealTWill) April 29, 2013 
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URL to article: http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2013/04/29/celtics-coach-doc-rivers-proud-of-jason-collins/
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 > Celtics coach Doc Rivers ‘proud of’ Jason Collins" data-url="http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2013/04/29/celtics-coach-doc-rivers-proud-of-jason-collins/">Tweet: http://twitter.com/share
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 Image: http://greenstreet.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Rivers_Doc-Celtics-head-12.jpg
 became the first openly gay active player: http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2013/04/29/ex-celtic-jason-collins-reveals-he-is-gay/
 this Sports Illustrated article: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/magazine/news/20130429/jason-collins-gay-nba-player/#all
 the inevitability of an openly gay NBA player: http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2013/04/09/doc-rivers-compares-gay-nba-player-coming-out-to-jackie-robinson-and-other-practice-notes/
 caught up with Rivers: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/news/20130429/jason-collins-gay-boston-celtics/
 tried to ship Chris Wilcox: https://twitter.com/ESPNSteinLine/status/328924270552027136
 Wilcox had the right to consent to the deal: https://twitter.com/ESPNSteinLine/status/328924570549620737
 celtics: https://twitter.com/celtics
 April 29, 2013: https://twitter.com/kevineastman/status/328939046531366914
 jasoncollins34: https://twitter.com/jasoncollins34
 #FtheHaters: https://twitter.com/search/%23FtheHaters
 April 29, 2013: https://twitter.com/TheRealTWill/status/328954310765453314
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