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Jason Collins comes out as first gay active NBA player

Jason Collins, a 12-year NBA veteran who played in 34 games for the Celtics this season, came out as gay in a piece he wrote for Sports Illustrated.

"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. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different.' If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand," the 34-year-old center wrote.

Collins's twin brother, Jarrod, tweeted a thinly veiled message of encouragement early Monday morning, right before the story was published.

New York Knicks point guard Baron Davis also sent his support to Collins via Twitter.

Collins has played for six teams in his 12-year NBA careers. He was traded to the Washington Wizards by the Celtics earlier this season for guard Jordan Crawford. He averaged 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds while he was with the Celtics and started in seven games.

Sports Illustrated also published a behind-the-story of Collins's piece, which will appear in the May 6 issue of the magazine.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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