By Huizhong Wu
Gay NBA player Jason Collins has found an unlikely ally in China’s netizens and state-run media.
The basketball player, who announced his coming out in this month’s issue of Sports Illustrated, was featured in a 30 second spot called “An Example of Courage” on CCTV’s sports channel, Quartz reports.
China is not traditionally a country known for its support of homosexuality. Being gay in China was illegal until 1997 and many modern Chinese still participate in sham marriages to please their parents.
Collins’ announcement has certainly drawn the attention of the Chinese web. The news was trending on Weibo soon after it was announced.
Weibo user @达人人人 put it best:
Why are so many people upset about one NBA player’s announcement that he’s gay? Celebrities have congratulated him, the president has congratulated him, the White House has congratulated him. I will send him congratulations myself. Mr. Jason Collins, you win at life!
Collins, while drawing support from big name figures such as Michelle Obama and Hilary Clinton, has faced plenty of lashback in the US – most notably an angry rant from ESPN commentator Chris Broussard.