30 Apr 2013

Collins comes out as first openly gay player in top US league

6:43 am on 30 April 2013

The veteran NBA basketball centre Jason Collins has become the first active player from any of the US professional sports leagues to publicly reveal he's gay.

Collins, who played with the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards this season and is now a free agent, made the announcement in an interview with Sports Illustrated.

The 34-year-old says he didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport - but since he is, he says he's happy to start the conversation.

Collins says he wishes he wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, "I'm different", and if he had his way, someone else would have already done this.

But as nobody has, he's raising his hand.

Collins has played for six teams in the NBA and reached the NBA finals twice and says he intends to continue in the sport.