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    Jason Collins to Receive GLSEN's Courage Award for Coming Out as NFL Hopeful Speaks Out as Gay

    Jason Collins, Sports Illustrated

    Jason Collins is getting a big honor after coming out as gay.

    The NBA star will receive the Courage Award later this month at the 10th Annual GLSEN Respect Awards, the LGBT organization announced earlier today.

    "We are incredibly proud to honor Jason Collins with our Courage Award," Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN's Executive Director, said in a statement. "His decision to come out is a game-changer for sports and will have a profound impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, particularly those who participate in or want to participate in athletics. Jason's actions also send another clear message to young people that sexual orientation can no longer be the standard to unfairly judge an athlete's ability or potential."

    NEWS: Watch Oprah interview Jason

    In addition to the May 20 event, Collins will be honored with the Inspirational Athlete of the Year award at the Sports Spectacular's 28th Anniversary Gala on May 19 in L.A.

    News of Collins' honor coincides with a NFL hopeful who's following in Collins' footsteps and going public about being gay. Virginia college football star Kevin Grayson opened up to Richmond's CBS 6 this week about his sexuality.

    "Just because you're gay doesn't mean you can't be the athlete you want to be. Doesn't mean you can't be a star. Doesn't mean you can't go out there and go just as hard as anybody else, if not harder," Grayson said, adding, "It's like the biggest weight lifted off your shoulder. To know that you have a teammate that basically says 'I don't care.'"

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