"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport," National Basketball Association center Jason Collins , "but since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation."
With that, the 34-year-old veteran of 12 NBA seasons and six pro teams becomes the first active player in the four major American team sports to come out.
He goes on to say he's been asked how he thinks other players will respond to the news. "The simple answer is, I have no idea," Collins writes. "I'm a pragmatist. I hope for the best, but plan for the worst. The biggest concern seems to be that gay players will behave unprofessionally in the locker room. Believe me, I've taken plenty of showers in 12 seasons. My behavior wasn't an issue before, and it won't be one now. My conduct won't change. I still abide by the adage, 'What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room.' I'm still a model of discretion."
Now a free agent, for the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards. Over his 713-game NBA career, he has averaged just under 21 minutes a game and has scored an average 3.6 points per game.