PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - NBA Center Jason Collins is the first male pro athlete from one of the four major American sports leagues to announce he's gay.
Collins' revelation came on Sports Illustrated's website where the magazine's cover story for the May 6 issue was posted on Monday.
In a first-person account, Collins, 34, talked about the difficulty of hiding his sexual orientation while playing for six NBA teams over 12 seasons.
The gay community is looking for him to become a role model.
"Hopefully we'll see as a result of this fewer teenage suicides, less bullying in schools," said Gary Costa, executive director of the LGBT Community Center of the Desert. "Hopefully a chain effect, not only will we see more people coming out, we'll see reactions in the communities, in the sports teams changing as well."
Collins played for the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards this past season. He's now a free agent and says he wants to continue playing.