Some great stuff by the Boston Herald's Steve Buckley about his Spring Training conversation with Boston Red Sox superstar David Ortiz about gay athletes:

Ortiz, speaking yesterday about having an openly gay teammate, said that his mother, Angela, taught him a valuable lesson about acceptance. He talked of having a childhood friend, who, he said, "we all knew, when he was 13, that he was gay. And he was always talking to my mother, telling her everything. They were close. And it was my mother who taught me to love people for who they are. That's what she told me."

These words from Ortiz, perhaps the most popular player in Major League Baseball, were delivered just one morning after Jason Collins of the Brooklyn Nets broke the "gay barrier" by becoming the first out athlete to play in any of the four North American major sports leagues.

Added Ortiz:

"It's something you're born with and everybody needs to accept that. Hey, look, the way I see things, I love people the way they are. Especially if you are honest with yourself. You know what I'm saying?

"It's the (expletive) 21st century man. Get over it."

Great stuff from one of the most popular players in baseball and one of our favorite sportswriters. The entire article is a must-read.