First lady Michelle Obama has invited the openly-gay former NBA player Jason Collins to sit with her at this week’s State of the Union address, the White House said Monday.
Last April, Collins, who played with the Washington Wizards, famously became the first male athlete on a major sports team to come out of the closet.
“The President expressed his gratitude to Collins for his courageous announcement through an article Collins penned himself,” the White House said in a statement. “The President said he ‘couldn’t be prouder’ of Collins, recognizing this as a point of progress for the LGBT community, and one more step in America’s goal to treat everyone fairly and with respect.”
The White House said Collins will be seated in the box at the Capitol Tuesday night with the first lady, Jill Biden and Obama senior aide Valerie Jarrett.
Other guests include Boston Marathon Bombing survivors Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman and Moore, Oklahoma fire chief Gary Bird.