FILE - This is a Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014 file photo of Marussia driver Jules Bianchi of France as he waves during drivers' parade before the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan.The parents of Formula One driver Jules Bianchi said Wednesday Nov. 19, 2014 he has been taken out of an artificial coma and repatriated from Japan to a French hospital. Bianchi, who crashed during last month's Japanese Grand Prix, remains in a critical condition with severe head injuries, his parents said in a statement. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

“Following a challenging period of neurological intensive care, we are able to announce that Jules has made an important step,” the statement from Philippe and Christine Bianchi said.

“We recognize the incredible influence coaches can have on their players and how football can be used as an educational tool to affect change,” Deana Garner, the NFL’s director of player engagement and education, said.

FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2014, file photo, Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins considers a question from reporter before the Nets' NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets in Denver. Collins, the NBA's first openly gay player, announced his retirement on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

“It feels wonderful to have been part of these milestones for sports and for gay rights, and to have been embraced by the public, the coaches, the players, the league and history,” Collins wrote.