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    Jason Collins' Coming Out: "I Was Surprised Like Everyone Else," Says Gay Soccer Pro Robbie Rogers

    Jason Collins, Robbie Rogers Harry E. Walker/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com); Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

    Jason Collins has the support of fellow gay athlete Robbie Rogers.

    However, Rogers, a former U.S. men's national soccer team player who came out in February, admits to being caught off guard by the NBA star's big Sports Illustrated announcement earlier today.

    "I think I was surprised like everyone else," Rogers tells E! News exclusively of Collins coming-out announcement.

    NEWS: DeGeneres, Perry and Clinton praise Collins' coming out

    "Obviously, I know what it is like going through being gay and being a professional athlete and being closeted and all the emotions and all the thoughts that go through your mind," the 25-year-old former soccer pro says. "I don't know him, but I was very happy and proud for him. But most of all, I was happy that our society gave him such a positive response including athletes from all over the world on Twitter. Society is really changing, people are moving along and accepting gay athletes and I think more athletes will follow in his footsteps."

    "We will see what happens, but it is definitely a positive step," Rogers says of Collins paving the way for more pro players coming out. "You can't just say to someone, 'Come out, come out,' it really depends on them."

    Since coming out, Rogers, who will be on Nightline tonight talking about his experiences, started his own fashion line, Halsey. "From my experience it has been so positive, it is life-changing," he said. "It is such a huge weight lifted off your shoulders, and I'm really excited for my life."

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