With no intent to make history, Collins became the first professional athlete to come out as openly gay in U.S. sports. But yesterday afternoon, Collins decided to do his first interview–since speaking with Sports Illustrated–with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
“I never set out to be the first,” Collins told Stephanopoulos during his interview which first aired during Good Morning America yesterday (April 30). He continued, “It’s incredible. You’re just trying to live an honest, genuine life and the next thing you know you have the President calling you. He was incredibly supportive and he was proud of me, said this not only affected my life but others going forward.”
According to the Huffington Post, the 12-year NBA player first opened up to Sports Illustrated about the “process of coming out to his family, including his twin brother, Jarron, who had no idea that he was gay.” And not sure what the news would bring, the now free agent has been amazingly surprised by the amount of support he’s received from family, friends and fellow players.
“From my teammates, I’m expecting support because that’s what I would do for my teammates,” Collins said. “A team is like a family. The NBA is like a brotherhood. I’m looking at it that we’ll all support each other on and off the court.”
Becoming the first openly gay professional athlete doesn’t seem easy, but let Jason tell it and he’s never felt better about himself. Before ending his interview with George Stephanopoulos, Collins said, “I know that I right now am the happiest that I have ever been in my life.”
Take a look at a clip from Jason’s interview with ABC below.