In a Sports Illustrated profile this week NBA player Jason Collins revealed that he’s gay. The 34-year-old Collins becomes the first player among the Big Four sports to come out of the closet and admit his homosexuality.
“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay,” he wrote in SI. “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. 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.”
In a statement, NBA head David Stern had this to say: “As Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family. Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue.”
Collin, a former Stanford star who has a twin brother, is currently a free agent center after a year with the Washington Wizard.