After enduring years of misery, Jason Collins is now the first openly gay athlete in a major American professional sport. And yet, Collins is not technically the first.  

John Amaechi was closeted during his professional career, but he came out after he retired in February, 2007. Amaechi told Big Think that the "vast majority" of the people he encountered were warm and supportive, while perhaps a 15 percent minority were "weirded out by it."

Amaechi said that for some people the revelation was just too terrifying to comprehend: "He is massive and he is black and he is gay." How could that be?

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