NBA player Jason Collins comes out as gay, the first active male athlete in a major American professional team sport to do so.
He announced “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”
President Barack Obama and the sportswear company ‘Nike’ were 2 among many of those expressing public support towards Jason’s news. On Monday, Mr Obama, who last year announced his support for gay marriage, called Collins to tell him he was impressed with his courage and offer his support, the White House said.
His daughter, Chelsea, who knew Collins when they were both students at California’s Stanford University, tweeted: “Very proud of my friend Jason Collins for having the strength and courage to be the first openly gay player in the NBA.”
In the Sports Illustrated article, Collins, who has most recently played for the Washington Wizards and the Boston Celtics, said:
“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.”
Collins, who has played 11 seasons in the NBA with six teams and is not currently attached to a team, said he had tried to suppress his feelings through relationships with women.
“When I was younger I dated women. I even got engaged,” he said. “I thought I had to live a certain way. I thought I needed to marry a woman and raise kids with her. I kept telling myself the sky was red, but I always knew it was blue.”
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