MIAMI -- NBA free agent Jason Collins' admission that he is gay has raised the issue of sexual preference in professional sports.
Collins on Monday became the first active male athlete in a major team sport in the United States to declare he is gay. The 12-year NBA veteran made the announcement in Sports Illustrated.
"I think his preference is his preference," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "What I focus on is what kind of teammate he is and what he does on the field. As a manager, that's the only thing I'm concerned about."
A number of Marlins players declined to address Collins or the topic of how Major League Baseball would deal with a similar situation.
Miami pitcher Kevin Slowey pointed out sports also can reflect society in general.
"Certainly, the landscape has changed over the last 10 years," Slowey said. "I think anybody would be foolish to think that it wouldn't continue to change. That's the beauty of the game, it mirrors society at large. You get to evolve as society does. You don't really find yourself stuck in one place."
Redmond stressed that the bottom line for any athlete is performance and how the player conducts himself.
"Everyone is just concerned about what he does on the field," Redmond said. "What type of player they are, and what type of teammate they are. I think that's what is important about them as a player or a person."