Former Washington Wizards center Jason Collins has revealed that he met with Michael Sam before the future NFL star went public with his sexuality.
Sam is expected to become the first openly gay NFL player when a team signs him in the 2014 NFL Draft.
But before going public, the 24-year-old spoke with Collins - who became the first active male professional athlete in a major North American team sport to come out as gay, back in April - in Los Angeles.
“For the past 2 days I have met with @MikeSamFootball here in LA,” Collins tweeted. “He is a great young man who has shown tremendous courage and leadership.”
He then added: “I can't wait to cheer for whatever lucky team that drafts @mikesamfootball. Personally I hope he goes to my favorite team. The @Colts”.
While Sam is expected to be signed by a team in the forthcoming Draft, Collins is still waiting to appear in a professional match for the first time since making his announcement almost 10 months ago.
However, both have earned widespread praise for their decisions to come out, and it’s hopes that more athletes will now feel more comfortable following their lead.