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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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294 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

Rhubino    

We will probably see more BB players coming out now because of this. I think it may be a while yet for NFLers, though.

508 days ago
32.

JB    

I smell "reality show". Ryan Seacrest on Line 2.

508 days ago
33.

kitnplayn    

Ah, so that's where all the gay black men are. In the NBA.

508 days ago
34.

Miosotis1979    

I'm so glad that he had the honestly too come out . I bet you now he can sleep at night that he got that off his chest . I love my gays :)

508 days ago
35.

4reallikecomon    

He plays hard...

508 days ago
36.

Soda pop    

He means he's happy I hope

508 days ago
37.

Azi    

I noticed his jersey almost had all the colors of a rainbow.

508 days ago
38.

zzyzx    

Why announce it? Just be gay, we'll figure it out when we see you with men. When we stop treating homosexuality like something different, it will stop being different.

508 days ago
39.

Ih8Taxes    

Who cares...being gay is no big deal anymore. And I'm all for gay marriage so that everyone can suffer equally.

508 days ago
40.

Mahoffer    

What's the big deal? About half the Nuggets roster came out as gay against the Warriors last night.

508 days ago
41.

Maria    

Good for him. He can now live his life like everyone else!!!

508 days ago
42.

Tracy    

Impressively brave.

508 days ago
43.

jen    

who cares......atleast he's not a race jumper......they are MUCH WORSE THAN BEING GAY.....

508 days ago
44.

Pecker    

If this guy had a contract and wasn't a nobody, he wouldn't have come out. Its getting pretty sad when the gay card is being used as an attention and publicity hook....

508 days ago
45.

marchetti    

Harvey can be like whore bag kim n finally bang black athletes!

508 days ago
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