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John Amaechi says NBA 'light years' ahead of soccer as many British players wary of coming out

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    FILE- Former NBA player John Amaechi speaks onstage at the 18th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, USA, in this file photo dated Saturday, April 14, 2007. Amaechi became the first openly gay former NBA player with a landmark public statement in 2007, three years after retiring, but in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Amaechi disclosed that he is in contact with gay English Premier League players to advise them about gay issues. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, FILE)The Associated Press

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    FILE- John Amaechi, the first British player to start in an NBA game, playfully covers a tee shirt that states "Amaechi Tea Co." at a news conference in Orlando, Fla. USA, in this file photo dated Tuesday Aug. 8, 2000. Amaechi became the first openly gay former NBA player with a landmark public statement in 2007, three years after retiring, but in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Amaechi disclosed that he is in contact with gay English Premier League players to advise them about gay issues. (AP Photo/Peter Cosgrove, File)The Associated Press

The advice John Amaechi gave to Jason Collins before the NBA veteran came out is very different to what he tells the gay soccer players he knows in England's Premier League.

Amaechi became the first openly gay former NBA player in 2007, three years after retiring. In the month before his public announcement on Monday, Collins spoke to him about his decision.

Amaechi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Monday: "The NBA is light years ahead of football. There is no doubt about that."