In late April, veteran NBA center Jason Collins penned a first-person Sports Illustrated article to announce his homosexuality. The response was largely positive and accepting from his NBA colleagues, including superstars such as Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant.
“If the guy's happy, whatever he does, that's cool with me,” Durant said the day of Collins' announcement. “Jason Collins, playing against him, seems like a great guy. ... Nobody has any right to judge. He's his own man, makes his own decisions.”
Peterson's original comments also happened to come on the same day the Los Angeles Galaxy's Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay athlete to play in one of the United States' five major pro sports leagues.
Peterson said he never felt pressure to apologize because his sentiment wasn't hateful or disrespectful, and that he was surprised by some of the harshly negative public response.
“Like I said when I made the statement, ‘To each his own,'” Peterson said. “We have homosexuals who choose to live their life the way they do. You know what? To me, that's fine. You can do that. If you want people to respect that, then just respect my view.
“I'm not persecuting anyone or pointing a finger ... I got asked a question and I voiced my personal opinion, which, as a citizen, I'm free to do that. But, of course, when you've got the platform that I've got, you're gonna get a lot of different reactions and comments from it. I'm able to weather that and just deal with it.”