Sporting-goods giant Nike is prepared to back the first professional athlete who comes out gay.

According to Bloomberg News, Nike sent a message to the closeted player through Rick Welts, the former CEO of the Phoenix Suns, who came out gay in 2011.

Before his announcement was published on the front page of The New York Times, Welts told senior executives at Nike, among others.

“They made it clear to me, Nike would embrace it,” said Welts, now president of NBA's Golden State Warriors. “The player who does it, they're going to be amazed at the additional opportunities that are put on the table, not the ones that are taken off.”

Speculation over an impending coming out spiked last week after former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, a strong supporter of gay rights, remarked that an NFL player could come out “sooner than you think.”

He explained during an appearance on CNN that one idea is have several football players come out on the same day.

(Related: Brendon Ayanbadejo on 4 NFL players coming out: It's fathomable.)