Jason Collins

NBA player Jason Collins is the first professional athlete in all the major sports to come out as openly gay.

FOX News Radio's Dave Anthony reports:

Jason Collins, Kirk Hinrich

Jason Collins was never an NBA star, but he's on the cover of the next 'Sports Illustrated'. The first player in any of the major pro sports to come out as openly gay.

NBA Commissioner David Stern says Collins is a widely respected and is proud Collins has assumed a leadership mantle on a very important issue.

Former President Bill Clinton calls it an important moment for professional sports and the LGBT community.

A 34-year-old free agent center who's played for six teams. Collins says if he had his way someone else would have come out gay before him but nobody has so he's raising his hand.

Dave Anthony, FOX News Radio.

READ a statement from NBA Commissioner David Stern regarding Jason Collins' announcement:

"As Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family. Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue."

READ a statement by President Bill Clinton on Jason Collins:

"I have known Jason Collins since he was Chelsea's classmate and friend at Stanford. Jason's announcement today is an important moment for professional sports and in the history of the LGBT community. It is also the straightforward statement of a good man who wants no more than what so many of us seek: to be able to be who we are; to do our work; to build families and to contribute to our communities. For so many members of the LGBT community, these simple goals remain elusive. I hope that everyone, particularly Jason's colleagues in the NBA, the media and his many fans extend to him their support and the respect he has earned."