Former Atlanta Hawks center and 12-year NBA veteran Jason Collins has come out and revealed he is gay.
The 34-year old journeyman wrote an article for Sports Illustrated (that hits newsstands May 6) and came out on his terms in his own words.
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. 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….
Now I’m a free agent, literally and figuratively. I’ve reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.
Collins played with the Hawks for three seasons from 2009-12.
Jason says he didn’t come out to his twin brother, Jarron, until last summer.
He is the first major active American male pro athlete to announce he is gay.
“I’m glad I can stop hiding and refocus on my 13th NBA season.”