(NEW YORK) — Today is a landmark day not only in sports, but American culture as NBA center Jason Collins has announced in a cover story with Sports Illustrated that he is openly gay.
Collins is a 12-year NBA veteran and has played for the Nets, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Hawks, Celtics, and Wizards. He is the first active player in a major American team sport to announce he is gay.
“I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American sport team,” Collins wrote. “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.”
Collins is now 34-years-old and is a free agent after most recently playing for the Washington Wizards. His twin brother, Jarron Collins, played ten seasons in the NBA.
“He never suspected. So much for twin telepathy,” Collins wrote. “But by dinner that night, he was full of brotherly love. For the first time in our lives, he wanted to step in and protect me.”
In 713 careers games, Collins averaged 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
He admitted that the recent acts at the Boston Marathon motivated him to make his announcement at this time.
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