Former Stanford star Jason Collins reveals he is gay

April 29, 2013, 9:00 am
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Former Stanford star and current NBA player Jason Collins revealed that he is gay.

Collins made the announcement in a first-person article in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.

"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay," read the first sentence of the story.

Collins is the first active male athlete among the major sports in America to come out.

The 7-foot center played at Stanford from 1997 to 2001, finishing with a career average of 10.8 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game.

In 12 seasons in the NBA, Collins has averaged 3.6 points per game and 3.8 rebounds per game, and has played for New Jersey, Memphis, Minnesota, Atlanta, Boston and Washington. He is now a free agent.

Jason's twin brother Jarron told SI how his brother broke the news to him.

Words of support from Collins' peers are starting to pour in:

NBA Commissioner David Stern:
“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.”

Former President Bill Clinton:
"I have known Jason Collins since he was Chelsea's classmate and friend at Stanford. Jason's announcement today is an important moment for professional sports and in the history of the LGBT community. It is also the straightforward statement of a good man who wants no more than what so many of us seek: to be able to be who we are; to do our work; to build families and to contribute to our communities. For so many members of the LGBT community, these simple goals remain elusive. I hope that everyone, particularly Jason's colleagues in the NBA, the media and his many fans extend to him their support and the respect he has earned."

Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers:
"I am extremely happy and proud of Jason Collins. He’s a pro’s pro. He is the consummate professional and he is one of my favorite “team” players I have ever coached. If you have learned anything from Jackie Robinson, it is that teammates are always the first to accept. It will be society who has to learn tolerance. One of my favorite sayings is, 'I am who I am, are whom we are, can be what I want to be its not up to you, it’s just me being me.'"

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant:

Former Golden State Warriors guard Baron Davis: