Jason Collins received largely positive support in the aftermath of his announcement that he is gay.
Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Kenneth Faried and Rudy Gay were amongst the dozens of players to publicly offer their support to Collins.
Collins also received encouragement on Twitter from Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama, Martina Navratilova and Spike Lee.
ESPN reporter Chris Broussard drew criticism for comments he made calling homosexuality “a sin” on the network’s “Outside the Lines” program.
Broussard took issue with Collins’s description of himself as a Christian because he was “openly living in unrepentant sin.”
He added: “I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the Bible would characterize him as a Christian.”
Broussard's comments became a large topic of conversation on social media.
“We regret that a respectful discussion of personal viewpoints became a distraction from today’s news,” said ESPN. “ESPN is fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins’s announcement.”
An NBA star that spoke with Yahoo's Marc J. Spears also echoed religious-based reservations about Collins, who himself is a professed Christian.
"I'm staying quiet on this one," said the player. "Commend his courage to step out, but my faith teaches otherwise."