American fans come out for Jason Collins

May 03, 2013, 7:57 AM GMT+0

Americans approve of basketball player Jason Collins' decision to come out by a margin of two-to-one, and even more do among basketball fans

Jason Collins, who plays for the Washington Wizards, became the first professional athlete in one of the four major U.S. leagues (for American football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey) to publicly state he is homosexual. The news has been widely praised - President Barack Obama called Collins to congratulate him - and most Americans approve of his decision to come out.

The latest YouGov US research shows that 55% of Americans approve of his decision to come out, while 25% disapprove.

This was strongly split along political lines, however, with Democrats (71%) being far more likely than Republicans (30%) to approve. Significantly, Independents (who don't explicitly support either major party) also largely approved, with 58% supporting Jason Collins.

Sports fans were also more likely than the general public to support Jason Collins, with ice hockey fans (68%) being more likely than American football (59%) or baseball (59%) fans to support Jason Collins. 65% of NBA fans backed him and only 23% disapproved.

Respondents were also asked which leagues they thought to be the most tolerant of openly gay players. In the United States, soccer (14%) was thought to be the most tolerant and ice hockey (2%) the least, but 65% did not choose any of the options.

See the full poll results

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