A reporter on US television sports channel ESPN, has commented on the coming out of NBA star Jason Collins, to say that he thinks it is an “open rebellion to God”, and that “lifestyle”, is “a sin”.

Jason Collins yesterday spoke about his sexuality, confirming he is gay in an article in Sports Illustrated magazine. He said: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.

Speaking during a segment on the channel’s ‘Outside the Lines’ programme, Chris Broussard, a senior writer for ESPN Magazine, spoke out against Collins’ decision to come out, saying that he was “living in unrepentant sin”.

“Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly … like premarital sex between heterosexuals. If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says ‘you know them by their fruits.’ It says that, you know, that’s a sin,” he said.

“And if you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality — adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals — whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.”

The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, as well as thousands of others, yesterday tweeted their support for Jason Collins, the professional basketball player who became the first openly gay athlete in any major US team sport.

Former US president Bill Clinton, and his daughter Chelsea, also praised Collins for going public about his sexuality within minutes of the news breaking.