As tennis player and gay rights activist Billie Jean King has suggested, this news item is great, but it's also a shame in a way - it would be better if people didn't need to come out, and if instead everyone were accepted for who they are. We shouldn't have to defend ourselves, but since the world isn't yet at that stage, unfortunately we still need people such as Jason Collins.
The ultimate encouragement for a player to come out, would probably be that there were sufficient other gay peers for it not to be such an issue, or at least enough to be able to offer support. As it stands, that day seems a long way off. If the Premier League is to wait for its own Jason Collins, it may be waiting a very long time.