A’s take Jason Collins’ coming out in stride

A’s reliever Jerry Blevins was impressed that veteran NBA center Jason Collins came out as gay Monday.

So much so that he tweeted this:

@JerryBlevins_13: Good for you, Jason Collins. #strength #courage #pride

Later, Blevins expanded on his tweet.

    “I think it is a big deal in a sense, for today,’’ Blevins said. “It was time, or maybe it was even a little late, but this is right, and the right person did it. He can be a good spokesman.’’

Blevins said that Collins’ coming out would be good for the next generation of athletes.

“I think it’s going to be a huge comfort to a lot of little kids growing up now,’’ Blevins said. “They’ll be able to say that `I can be myself and be a world-class athlete.’ ’’

That message was heard throughout the A’s clubhouse.

Third baseman Josh Donaldson acknowledged that it was a major act of courage for Collins to be the first. At the same time, Donaldson said “for me, I don’t know how big a deal it is.’’

“One way or the other, it’s promising,’’ Donaldson said. “I’ve never been faced with that situation, but if there is an athlete who is a teammate and is gay, if he can help the team, that’s all that matters.’’

Center fielder Coco Crisp said if the announcement “can help others, then that’s good.’’

“If there is someone out there who is in a situation of whether or not to share something about their sexuality,’’ he said, “then this might help them. I don’t see any way this is going to backfire at all.’’

Shortstop Jed Lowrie, asked if there would be issues if a baseball player came out as gay, indicated he didn’t think it would be a problem.

“We play together for a longer time, and we’re in a close environment,’’ Lowrie said. “But this is a place of business. If (a gay athlete) can help us win, then winning is what it’s all about.’’

Manager Bob Melvin said he didn’t see that a gay athlete would have problems were he to join the A’s.

“If he’s a good baseball player, we welcome him,’’ Melvin said. “We embrace (diversity) in this organization. And look at the demographics in California. We’d have no issue with (having a gay player on the roster) at all.’’

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.