The White House announced today that NBA player Jason Collins, who made history last year by becoming the first male athlete playing in an American team sport to come out as gay, will be seated in the box with First Lady Michelle Obama, Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, and presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett for tomorrow's State of the Union Address.
Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade reports:
After coming out as gay in a Sports Illustrated article in April, Collins has enjoyed a strong relationship with the Obamas. On the day the piece was published, Collins received a personal phone call from Obama, who later said during a news conference he was "very proud" of the athlete.
Collins also appeared alongside Michelle Obama during the Democratic National Committee's annual LGBT gala in New York City in May.
After playing for 12 years in the NBA, Collins is now a free agent.
Also slated to sit with the First and Second Ladies are Boston marathon bombing survivors Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman; Moore, Oklahoma fire chief Gary Bird; 16-year-old entrepreneur and Intel intern Joey Hudy; and Kathy Hollowell-Makle, the District of Columbia Public School's 2013 Teacher of the Year.