Washington Wizards center Jason Collins comes out as the first gay and active NBA player

Washington Wizards center Jason Collins is the first active NBA player or any player in the Big Four leagues to be openly gay. - USA TODAY Sports

Today in a Sports Illustrated article, Washington Wizards center Jason Collins has come out and said that he is gay. He is the first current NBA player who has, and the first Big Four league player to do so.

This is more of an extension of what Brittney Griner's coming out has meant and means to sports. And in light of the fact that more active Big Four league players may come out soon, at least now they aren't alone if and when they do.

I'm happy for Jason, and though I don't think he will be back on the Wizards for the 2013-2014 season given that Nene Hilario and Emeka Okafor have most of the minutes in the post, this decision wasn't easy for him in terms of being the first current NBA player to say so, but at the same time, everyone should feel free with being who they are.

Update at 12:15 PM ET: I know this piece isn't exactly a piece that fits this site, but again, considering the talk about homosexuality and sports in the last few days, this does add another chapter to it. And the SI piece is definitely a very good read.

For more reaction to this story, check out SB Nation's storystream on Collins coming out as the NBA's first openly gay player. To read team specific perspectives, read posts from Bullets Forever, our Wizards SBN blog and Celtics Blog, our Celtics SBN blog which are the two teams Jason played for this past season.

Update at 1:00 PM ET: Last update we promise. The Washington Wizards have released a statement on their site:

We are extremely proud of Jason and support his decision to live his life proudly and openly. He has been a leader on and off the court and an outstanding teammate throughout his NBA career. Those qualities will continue to serve him both as a player and as a positive role model for others of all sexual orientation.

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