Jason Collins: 'I'm A 34-Year-Old NBA Center. And I'm Gay'

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Jason Collins: 'I'm A 34-Year-Old NBA Center. And I'm Gay'

  • 07/16/2013 11:32 AM EDT

Jason Collins is the first professional athlete currently playins a major sport to publicly state that he's gay. The 34-year-old center for the Washington Wizards came out in an article published in Sports Illustrated. He begins the article writing:

"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay."

Collins, who's from Los Angeles, has played in the NBA for 12 seasons after playing college ball at Stanford. In the article, Collins writes that he's been considering coming out for several years, but that the turning point was when Joe Kennedy, a Congressman in Massachussets and Collins' old Stanford roommate told Collins that he'd marched in a gay pride parade. Seeing Kennedy - who's straight - show his support for the gay community made Collins sure he needed to do more. 

Collins will be marching with Kennedy in a gay pride parade on June 8 of this year. 

The article, which will be published in the May 6 issue of Sports Illustrated, went online Monday April 29