NBA basketball player Jason Collins has become the first major American sportsman to out himself as gay.
The Washington Wizards centre, who has spent 12 seasons playing for six different NBA franchises, revealed his previously-hidden sexuality in Sports Illustrated on Monday.
"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay," Collins wrote in an article for the magazine.
"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation.
"I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different.' If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."