NEW YORK (April 29, 2013)--Veteran NBA center Jason Collins Monday became the first active male professional athlete in the major four American sports leagues to come out as gay.
Collins wrote a first-person account posted Monday on Sports Illustrated's website.
Collins, 34, has played for six NBA teams in 12 seasons.
He finished the past season with the Washington Wizards and is now a free agent.
He says he wants to continue playing.
"If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand,” he wrote.
Collins played in a Final Four for Stanford and reached two NBA Finals.
His twin brother, Jarron, was also a longtime NBA center.
Jason says he came out to his brother last summer.
The White House commended Collins for his decision to come out.
White House spokesman Jay Carney called that decision courageous and said the White House supports Collins.
Carney said the White House views Collins' decision as another example of progress and evolution in the U.S. as Americans grow more accepting of gay rights and same-sex marriage.
Last year, during his re-election campaign, President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage.