New York, April 30 (IANS) NBA centre Jason Collins has admitted he is gay, the first active male professional athlete in American major leagues to reveal so.
Collins, a 34-year-old free agent, was the post figure of the new Sports Illustrated issued on the website Monday and wrote a first-person account with Franz Lidz.
Collins said: "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black and I'm gay. 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 played six teams in his 12 NBA seasons, recently spending his season with the Boston Celtics.
NBA Commissioner David Stern showed his support to Collins for his courage and leadership of his admission.
Stern said Jason and his twin brother Jarron "have been exemplary members of the NBA family".
"Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue," Stern said.