When Jason Collins publicly came out as a gay man last month in Sports Illustrated, he received (for the most part) lots of support from his family, friends, teammates and even President Barack Obama!
But before the 34-year-old NBA star decided to go public with his sexual orientation, he had some nervous jitters. Sunday on Oprah Winfrey's Next Chapter, Jason explained he had "so much angst" about "making a decision—a declaration like this" to the world.
"Yes, I'm making a big declaration, but also trying to remain as private in my private life as possible," he told Oprah. "I think you more than most can attest to, 'Yes, you're a public figure, but we have private lives."
Oprah pointed out when Jason does "first step out with a partner," he'll probably have a tough time trying to "keep that a secret with your 7-foot self!"
"I'm gonna try," Jason answered laughingly. "But now, I know, I don't have to worry when I do step out. I won't be outed. I've already raised my hand in the classroom and said yes."
And while the response to Jason saying yes, he is gay, has been mostly positive, there has been some negative press. CNN's Howard Kurtz initially slammed Jason in a Daily Beast article (which has since been retracted), accusing the athlete of failing to mention his former engagement to Carolyn Moos. (He was incorrect, and this is mentioned in the Sports Illustrated piece.)
Upon realizing his error, the media critic apologized on his show Reliable Sources, admitting he made a mistake that "was sloppy and inexcusable."
"I was wrong even to raise that," he said. "And it showed a lack of sensitivity to the issue.
"I apologize to readers, to viewers and, most importantly, to Jason Collins and his fiancée," Kurtz went on. "I hope this very candid response can help me earn back your trust over time. It is something I am very committed to doing."