By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com April 29 2013 1:23 PM ET
Washington Wizards center Jason Collins made news and history today as the first man in a major pro team sport to come out as gay while still playing. Over the past 12 years, Collins has played with six NBA teams. He said his coming-out was driven by a desire for authenticity. "I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport," he wrote in Sports Illustrated. "But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation."
Click through for a gallery of Jason Collins in action.
Collins (number 35), then with the New Jersey Nets. battles Richard Hamilton of the Detroit Pistons for a rebound in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2004 NBA Playoffs, May 16, 2004.
With the Nets, Collins dunks the ball in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks, December 28, 2002.
Jason Kidd of the Nets passes the ball to teammate Collins between two Charlotte Hornets during game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference semifinals, May 15, 2002, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Nets won the game 103-95 to take the series 4-1.
Eddie Gill (right) of the Indiana Pacers looses control of the ball as he drives past Jason Collins in a game against the Nets March 22, 2005.
Shaquille O'Neal of the Miami Heat tangles with Collins in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2005 NBA Playoffs, April 24, 2005.
From left: Collins, Jason Kidd, and Nenad Krstic sit on the bench during the last minute of their game against the Miami Heat in game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2005 NBA Playoffs, May 1, 2005.
Collins (on floor) fights for control of the ball against Shandon Anderson (right) and Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat in game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2005 NBA Playoffs, May 1, 2005.
Collins voices his displeasure with a foul call in game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2006 NBA Playoffs, May 16, 2006.
Collins (number 34) helps the Atlanta Hawks battle the Orlando Magic during game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs, April 28, 2011.
Collins, playing for the Boston Celtics, takes a break in the game against the Brooklyn Nets November 15, 2012.