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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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295 COMMENTS

No Avatar
76.

ShowBizJunkie    

I am so proud of this guy's courage and strength. Bravo! To all the haters out there - and on here- your narrow minded rhetoric just shows how backward and insecure you really are. Oh no, the safe and secure world of sports is no longer exclusively straight! Say it ain't so! Lets hope this is the first of many outings to come. And for those who say it doesn't matter: it does! They always show the wives - which clearly shows their heterosexual status. But they never talk about a player's same sex partner. Why not? They shove their straight lifestyle down our throats with their off court antics and talk of their wives and girlfriends or baby mommas. Yet one guy comes out as gay and suddenly it's an agenda? Please. When we can hear about a player's private life and talk about his boyfriend or husband with the same indifference as a player's wife or girlfriend, then it won't matter anymore. But till then we must chip away at the anti-gay hostility that exists in the stands, sports bars and living rooms everywhere. I don't watch b-ball, but I'll buy a season's pass to any team that hires openly out gay players. Till then I'll stay home and watch Bravo.

353 days ago
77.

4reallikecomon    

The thing is...guys that are against gays,whenever this guy gets a rebound,or a fast break dunk,the first thing thats going to come to us straight guys mind is "look at the gay dude dunking*. ...then we might start being disgusted wth imaginining how and why this guy wanna blow some dude,or the other stuff they do....

353 days ago
78.

ivan    

Those here who have called Bieber gay because of his hair and voice-does this guy look like the stereotypical gay person? Does he have a high pitched voice and Bieber haircut? I am pointing this out to show how stupid throwing out false accusations can be.

353 days ago
79.

William j    

Wow people's comments are ripe with stupidity I guess I shouldn't be surprised!!

353 days ago
80.

cargar    

Next, we'll hear an announcement from the first left- handed, blonde ventriloquist to come out of the closet.

353 days ago
81.

jimi    

this just in...Jason Collins cut by washington

353 days ago
82.

buzz kill    

This whole report is GAY!

353 days ago
83.

Cartman    

Do NOT drop the soap near this guy.. he's already let you know he has no problem doing it.

353 days ago
84.

Woot    

Let's make it as in your face until it's as neutral emotionally to everyone as "I just had a glass of water!"

353 days ago
85.

Robae    

Most homophobic men are afraid that ***** are delicious.

353 days ago
86.

DeeMaree    

Won't it be a great day when it's no longer a big deal if one is gay. In professional sports this is a HUGE deal and even in the black community this is a biggie. I don't enjoy watching pro basketball but for those that are fans, I hope Jason Collins is in no way treated any differently than other pro players. Brave guy.

353 days ago
87.

STAYCLASSYSANDIEGO    

kudos for coming out, but a little late. 34 yr old free agent who played like 4 games last year and won't be resigned next year.

353 days ago
88.

germs    

Cool. You still an average player though! Incidently nike just came out and said they would sponsor first open gay athelete. Im sure its pure coincidence!

353 days ago
89.

Sashatree    

I look forward to the day when news like this isn't news and nobody cares. Glad he can now live his life fully and proudly - no hiding any more.

353 days ago
90.

Asmarlak    

Good for him and for all gays. Equality seems closer than ever.

353 days ago
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