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Bruce supportive of Collins' coming out

ST. LOUIS -- On the Monday of groundbreaking news from NBA player Jason Collins, who revealed that he is gay in a Sports Illustrated essay, the reverberations are being felt throughout major professional sports.

The Reds' clubhouse is no exception.

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Right fielder Jay Bruce is supportive of Collins' decision to come out.

"I'm happy for him," Bruce said. "I can't imagine what it's like to live your whole professional life basically in secrecy. I don't think anyone should let society pigeonhole them into thinking something is right or wrong. I'm happy he did it for himself. I am sure it's a pretty big weight lifted off of his shoulders now."

Bruce felt there would be no issue for him if one of his teammates revealed that he is gay.

"No, not at all," he said. "There's a professional aspect that goes into a team anyway. Whatever your sexuality is, it's your business or prerogative."

Manager Dusty Baker believes that the issue of a clubhouse accepting a gay teammate would be up to the players. As for himself?

"It's not really what I think," Baker said. "It's what his teammates think."

Baker, who lives in the Bay Area, recalled watching Collins play when he was a college standout for Stanford.

"Maybe he feels better. That's what counts," he said. "That's why he came out and said it. It takes weight off of his shoulders. All I know is, people want to know your reaction to something somebody else does. It doesn't matter what my reaction is. It's his thing."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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