The Admiral says he has known 'lots of gay athletes' and a person's sexual preference should have nothing to do with the way they are treated by their teammates, the fans, or how their athletic performance is judges, 1200 WOAI News reports.


  A University of Connecticut player this week became the first Division One college basketball player to come out as gay.  David Robinson was asked about that while attending a session at the LBJ Library in Austin to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


  "I would say just fight the good fight and be who you are," Robinson said.  "I think challenges like this are a great opportunity for you to show your character and show who you are."


  Robinson says all of us will face challenges.


  "We are all going to go through hard times we are all going to go through tough times," he said.  "It is how you face those challenges that make people respect who you are."


  Robinson says there are few things less important to the general public and to athletes than the sexual orientation of a player.


  "I've known lots of gay athletes at the Naval Academy, and, year, it shouldn't matter," he said. 


  Robinson's comments are significant because of his openly Christian beliefs.  Some in the evangelical Christian community have not supported gay rights efforts.