PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When NBA center Jason Collins came out as gay in April, he became the first male openly gay active athlete in one of the four major team sports in the United States.

Collins has said he’s felt an overwhelming amount of support from fans and colleagues. A new poll shows that trend should continue.

The May 2013 edition of the Reason-Rupe poll shows that 87% of Americans’ support for their favorite athlete would either not change (77%) or increase (10%) if that athlete came out as gay. 12% of respondents to the poll say they would be less likely to support that athlete.

25% of the poll’s respondents say that having an openly gay athlete is a positive development for society, and 17% see it as a negative.

The poll was conducted with 1,003 United States residents on landline phones and cell phones. The poll was conducted Princeton Survery Research Associates International.

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