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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
46.

LDB    

in other news the sky is blue and the grass is green

456 days ago
47.

jeff    

I thought the first on was Ben Dover

456 days ago
48.

August    

The "GAYS" now have a NBA BASKETBALL HERO.....

456 days ago
49.

Rotten Puppets    

Good for him to set the standard. But it's the NBA playoffs right now and the Wizards are a non-factor so this can wait until the offseason no?

456 days ago
50.

disembedded    

Great!

456 days ago
51.

Mike L    

Now his teammates no longer have to wonder why he always had an erection in the shower.

456 days ago
52.

James R. - Los Angeles    

And now he has a future in Hollywood.

456 days ago
53.

JusMyOpinion    

Kudos to Mr. Collins for not hiding his secret anymore.

456 days ago
54.

Duke    

OMG!!! . . .HE'S BLACK??????

456 days ago
55.

Oh A 💛💋    

He is going to get so much hate ! I wish this guy the best of luck and I hope he keeps his head high !

456 days ago
56.

craiger    

John Amaechi was first

456 days ago
57.

Correctone    

Congratulations.. It's always good to see people being who they are. He's very brave by admitting that his different. Lets see how many ignorant people go on the attack. I'm glad he can now finally have a piece of mind. That's awesome !

456 days ago
58.

Saffron    

And CNN just sent an alert to my phone about this. This is not alert worthy.

456 days ago
59.

purejuice    

My friend D died of AIDS. He spent the last year of his life talking to the therapist about rejection from the black gay community on account of his "feminine" aspect. After he died, one of the people who shunned him came to me and told me I had done everything I could with him. Which, I suppose, meant telling him to be a man? I *never* did. He was one of the most courageous people I ever met. I am thinking of him today. Thanks, Jace.

456 days ago
60.

nv89436    

Sick of "I'm gay!". Take your rights and stfu about your sexual preferences.

456 days ago
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