Jason Collins, the 34-year-old NBA player who has come out as the first openly gay male professional athlete from a major sports league, said he struggled for years with his decision to reveal himself to the world.
"When you keep telling yourself a lie, at some point you buy your own cover story," Collins told ABC's George Stephanopoulos in an interview aired on Tuesday. "I knew that I tried everything in the book as far as trying to convince myself to live the life I should."
Collins first revealed that he was gay to his aunt. He said she told him that she already knew that he was gay.
"She had her suspicions about me but she was extremely supportive," said Collins. "I guess she's good at reading people."
Collins said that since coming out, he has received an outpouring of love and support. He hopes that his teammates and the NBA will be equally supportive in the decision he's made.
"I'm expecting support because that's what I would give to my teammates," he said. "A team is like a family, the NBA is like a brotherhood. I'm looking at it like we all support each other on and off the court. I hope that every player makes decisions that lead to their own happiness, no matter what that happiness is in life."
Collins also said why he thinks his twin brother and fellow NBA player, Jarron, never knew that he was gay.
"I'm really good at playing it straight," Collins joked. "But he's been incredibly supportive as well... I've always been protective of my little brother, who is close to 7 feet, but now he's sort of taken on that role of protecting me."
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Matt Pepin, Boston.com sports editor
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer