Jason Collins gay: NBA player comes out, the first active gay athlete in major professional sport

By on Apr 30, 2013 in Basketball, Sports, United States Comments

NBA player Jason Collins admits being gay. Collins, who currently plays as center for the Washington Wizards, becomes the first male athlete in a major professional sport to come out as gay. His revelation was made during his own post at Sports Illustrated‘s website this Monday, April 29, 2013.

Jason Collins NBA gay Sports Illustrated

Jason Collins on Sports Illustrated magazine
cover, openly admitting that he is gay

Image Credit: Sports Illustrated

“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay. I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation.” Jason Collins tells Sports Illustrated, with the story also to appear on the May 6, 2013 issue of their magazine.

As told by Collins to the sports magazine, he began discovering that he is gay in his hometown of Los Angeles. He also admitted that when he was younger, he dated women and even got engaged. He said he thought I he needed to marry a woman and raise kids with her.

“I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, “I’m different.” If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.” Collins added, making him the first active NBA player to be openly gay. He is now a free agent, though.

“Why am I coming out now? Well, I started thinking about this in 2011 during the NBA player lockout. I’m a creature of routine. When the regular season ends I immediately dedicate myself to getting game ready for the opener of the next campaign in the fall.” Collins explains further.

His basketball record started with two state high school championships, and the NCAA Final Four and the Elite Eight. He also played nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons, and has also played for the Boston Celtics in the 2012-2013 NBA season.

“We are extremely proud of Jason and support his decision to live his life proudly and openly. He has been a leader on and off the court and an outstanding teammate throughout his NBA career.” Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld was quoted at NBA.com, saying it on behalf of the entire team.

“Those qualities will continue to serve him both as a player and as a positive role model for others of all sexual orientation.” Grunfeld added. Jason Collins was selected in the first round during the 2001 NBA Draft. He also played for New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Atlanta Hawks.

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