NBA Jason Collins: “I’m an NBA Center. I’m Black and I’m Gay”

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Jason Collins, a 12-year N.B.A. veteran, has come out as the first openly gay male athlete playing in a major American team sport.

“I’m a 34-year-old N.B.A. center. I’m black and I’m gay,” Collins writes in the May 6 edition of Sports Illustrated. The magazine published the article online Monday morning.

The announcement makes Collins a pioneer of sorts: the first player in the N.B.A., N.F.L., N.H.L. or Major League Baseball to come out while still pursuing his career. Other gay athletes, including the former N.B.A. center John Amaechi, have waited until retirement to divulge their sexuality publicly.

Collins, who split this season between the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards, will become a free agent on July 1. He intends to pursue another contract in the summer, which may serve as a test for how N.B.A. teams respond to the announcement.

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