Joe Kennedy III shows support for Jason Collins - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Joe Kennedy III shows support for Jason Collins

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BOSTON (WHDH) -- Congressman Joseph Kennedy III spoke with 7News about his former college roommate, Jason Collins. Collins made history earlier this week when he told the world he's gay.

“Grateful to have been able to develop a friendship with him, and certainly over the course of the last couple of weeks, extraordinarily proud of him,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy is showing support for his former college roommate, Jason Collins; the nation's first major professional athlete to announce he's gay while still playing in the NBA.

“As historic as a moment as this is, as much as the accolades and courage, that Jason demonstrated, he's still Jason. And he's always going to be Jason,” Kennedy said.

Collins told Sports Illustrated that Kennedy was instrumental in his decision to come out, saying, "I realized I needed to go public when Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford told me he had just marched in Boston’s 2012 Gay Pride Parade. I'm seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had done filled me with envy."

“Quite frankly I was surprised that it had an impact on him. I've known Jason a long time, he didn't need any help in this. He's a thoughtful guy, he's a deliberative guy. He did this all on his own,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy says Collins called him before the article came out, and during their conversations, Kennedy sensed a bit of relief.

“In my conversations with him, you can tell that he's really happy, and looking forward to the next chapters ahead," Kennedy said.

Kennedy says he asked Collins to join him when he marches in this year's pride parade, and Collins accepted.

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