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Jason Collins is featured on the cover of "Sports Illustrated." (Photo by Kwaku Alston /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

Jason Collins is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. (Photo by Kwaku Alston /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

NBA free agent and former Atlanta Hawks player Jason Collins made history today when he announced he is gay, becoming the first active player in a major American team sport to publicly discloses his homosexuality.

Collins made the announcement in a cover story for Sports Illustrated.

“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay,” Collins announced in the cover story. The article will appear in the May 6 issue of Sports Illustrated.

Collins played three years with the Hawks, leaving as a free agent after the 2012 season. He played for the Celtics and the Wizards this year and told SI he plans to continue playing in 2013.

NBA Commissioner David Stern applauded Collins in a statement: “We are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue.”

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