Twitter response to NBA player Jason Collins coming out as gay, overwhelmingly positive

(WXYZ) - Jason Collins has simply dominated the online conversation since making history Monday morning.

After becoming the first male athlete in a major American sport to come out as gay, Collins spent hours on Twitter's list of worldwide trends.

And while there will always be nay-sayers, the overall social media reaction was overwhelmingly positive.

Celebrities like Kobe Bryant and Bill Clinton were just a few on the long list of public figures tweeting congratulations and support for Collins. Bryant said in a tweet Monday "Proud of Jason Collins. Don't suffocate who you are because of the ignorance of others #courage #support."

Twitter users flocked to Collins, causing his follower count to skyrocket from 4,000 before the Sports Illustrated article hit, to over 80,000 Tuesday afternoon.

In response, Collins tweeted two messages of thanks. The first saying "all the support I have received today is truly inspirational. I knew that I was choosing the road less traveled but I'm not walking it alone."

Before Collins, you may remember American soccer player Robbie Rogers came out in a February blog post. He of course weighed in Monday tweeting "I feel a movement coming."

So will the social media support for Collins lead to a greater acceptance of gay athletes? You can join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #backchannel.

Follow Digital Reporter Meghan Brennan on Twitter @MeghanBrennan .

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