“I think those characteristics outweigh any thoughts you might have. I think the players are beyond that.’’
Ainge was asked what he would do with a player who had a problem with having a gay teammate.
“I would probably talk to that player and get him over that problem,’’ said Ainge. “I don’t know any players that don’t have problems. None of us are perfect. We all have different challenges. NBA basketball teams know that. You try to help and lift those around you — whatever struggles they may be having.’’
As a Mormon, is Ainge accepting of a homosexual ballplayer?
“Absolutely,’’ he said. “I’m accepting of everybody.
“Jason Collins is one of the classiest professionals we’ve had in our organization since I’ve been here. That doesn’t change.
“He is a person I trust, and like, and enjoy being around. He did his job as professionally as anybody we’ve had.’’
Dan Shaughnessy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.