Bay Area Baseball

Follow the latest news and notes on the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics

April 29, 2013
Melvin, A's react to NBA's Collins coming out as gay

OAKLAND -- In light of NBA center Jason Collins coming out as gay today in a story in "Sports Illustrated," A's manager Bob Melvin was asked what he thought the reaction in the A's clubhouse would be to having an openly gay teammate. Melvin said he agreed with reliever Jerry Blevins' assessment that the A's clubhouse is one of the more inclusive and open in sports to begin with.

"We welcome all kinds here, and I think it's good," Melvin said. "We embrace that as an organization, especially in the demographic we're in, in California here. We would absolutely have no issues with that at all."

Collins, a 34-year-old center who ended this season with the Washington Wizards, is the first active player in one of the four major U.S. pro sports to come out as gay. Melvin was also asked for his reaction to Collins' announcement.

"A person's a person to me," Melvin said. "If he's a good person and a good baseball player, we'd welcome him here."

Shortstop Jed Lowrie -- who like Collins attended Stanford, though several years later -- said that he supports gay rights and believes there should be separation between players' personal and professional lives. He said it's "hard to say" what reaction would be around the league if a major-league player were to come out as gay.

"I think generally speaking, it would be a good reaction," Lowrie said. "But I think there would probably be individuals who might have different opinions."

Blevins issued a tweet earlier today that read: "Good for you Jason Collins. #strength #courage #pride". He told the San Francisco Chronicle this afternoon that Collins' announcement is "great for the landscape of team sports."

"I give him my highest respect for being the one to come out, it can't be easy," said Blevins, who added that he believes reaction to a gay major leaguer would be "a lot more receptive than people think."

"My hope is that kids see this and say, 'I can be myself and do whatever I want to do,'" he told the Chronicle.

-- Matt Kawahara

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About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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