Former Boston Celtic Jason Collins has become the first American male athlete in a major professional sport to come out as gay.  He came out of the closet in an upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated.

I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay. --Jason Collins, Washington Wizards

Collins cited a local politician as his inspiration to finally tell the world his secret.

I realized I needed to go public when Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford  and now a Massachusetts congressman, told me he had just marched in Boston's  2012 Gay Pride Parade. I'm seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had  done filled me with envy. I was proud of him for participating but angry that as  a closeted gay man I couldn't even cheer my straight friend on as a spectator.  If I'd been questioned, I would have concocted half truths. What a shame to have  to lie at a celebration of pride. I want to do the right thing and not hide  anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding. I want to  take a stand and say, "Me, too."

Collins also said that the Boston Marathon bombings also played a factor, saying that life can change in a he felt the need to live in truth.

Collins becomes the first athlete for a major American sport to announce he's gay.  It has been widely speculated that a hockey player could be first as tolerance is becoming more and more the norm in pro locker rooms.  New England Patriots Tight End, Rob Gronkowski recently announced that he wouldn't care if any of his teammates were long as they were great football players.