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Jason Collins

I'M GAY

4/29/2013 8:18 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Washington Wizards center Jason Collins -- who's been playing in the NBA since 2001 -- has revealed he's gay ... making him the first major active American male pro athlete to come out of the closet .

Collins revealed the news in an article for Sports Illustrated ... saying, "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay."

He continued, "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."

Collins -- and his twin brother Jarron -- have been high profile athletes since high school ... when they were two of the highest rated prep players in the country.

They both went on to become standouts at Stanford ... and were each drafted into the NBA in 2001.

Jason says he didn't come out to his twin until last summer.  "I'm glad I can stop hiding and refocus on my 13th NBA season."

NBA stars Kobe Bryant and Tony Parker are rallying behind Collins, tweeting messages of support.  Kobe wrote, "Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don't suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others." Tony added, "Really hope people will RESPECT Jason Collins for his decision to come out. Just glad he can now relax and not be afraid to be who he is."

Meanwhile, NFL player Mike Wallace made a homophobic comment.

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For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
294 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

Pecker    

Not my business, nor is it any of yours...

If this "professional" feels the need to come out like this, he's looking for attention and nothing else.

487 days ago
17.

itsmegnotmeghan    

Congrats to him. This is an amazing step forward in sports history!

487 days ago
18.

DrLoveToe    

LMAO

487 days ago
19.

Grandma Cracker    

Congrats on your new freedom! Equality for all.

487 days ago
20.

firebaby    

*phew*! just in time for that "we'll sponsor the first gay athlete" deal nike announced a couple weeks back....

487 days ago
21.

Chi    

Idiot!

487 days ago
22.

The Love Sponge    

All of a sudden I've taking an interest in basket ball. Praise Jesus! OOOXXX

487 days ago
23.

Keirie420    

Inspirational

487 days ago
24.

Phreaky    

Good for him. Now maybe all the other closeted famous people will come out. Although I have to say... for people that want equality, in a way you are segregating yourself by doing this. When was the last time someone made a media announcement "I am heterosexual"? We don't do it, so you shouldn't have to either.

487 days ago
25.

lovegarrison    

His brother had to know,some how. Well he should be gay and proud.

487 days ago
26.

hummm    

I bet TMZ staff is really gay with this one, no mean comments like the ones you made about Tebow? you guys are the modern KKK.

487 days ago
27.

peoplearestupid    

now that he's come out, surely he'll start trying to hug and kiss opposing teams' players during games.....maybe he'll even pull his shorts down to expose a laced thong.

487 days ago
28.

hi    

And Harvey is happy about it. When is a Broadway actor will come out as a straight man?

487 days ago
29.

6one9    

LIVE YOUR LIFE!!!!
:)

487 days ago
30.

Cricket    

Good for him. People need to be honest to be happy. It won't change his skills. Live and let live.

487 days ago
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