NBA veteran Collins tells SI he is gay

11:24 AM, Apr 29, 2013   |    comments
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New York, NY (Sports Network) - Veteran NBA center Jason Collins, in an article he co-wrote for Sports Illustrated, has announced that he is gay.

The 34-year-old Collins is the first openly gay male athlete playing one of the four major American team sports.

"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport," Collins wrote in the article posted on SI's website. "But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."

Collins will be a free agent this summer after spending the 2012-13 season with Boston and Washington. He appeared in 32 games for the Celtics and six for the Wizards, finishing the campaign with averages of 1.1 points and 1.6 rebounds.

In the article, Collins said he dated women and was even engaged at one point. He thought he had to live a certain way, but contemplated coming out during the 2011 NBA player lockout before finally making the decision at this time.

"The recent Boston Marathon bombing reinforced the notion that I shouldn't wait for the circumstances of my coming out to be perfect," Collins said in the SI story. "Things can change in an instant, so why not live truthfully?"

Collins said he told his twin brother, Jarron, last summer.

Jason Collins has played for the Nets, Grizzlies, Timberwolves and Hawks in addition to his time with Boston and Washington. A member of two NBA Finals teams with the Nets, the Stanford product has appeared in 713 games with 476 starts and has averaged 3.6 points with 3.8 rebounds.

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