Jason Collins calls coming out "mind-boggling" experience

The NBA center said he "never set out to be first" and is waiting for other gay players to "raise their hands"

Published April 30, 2013 12:48PM (EDT)

     (ABC News)
(ABC News)

With the Monday announcement that he is gay, NBA free agent Jason Collins broke a historic barrier in men's professional sports. And the experience of being the first active out player in major team sports has been "mind-boggling," he told George Stephanopoulos on ABC News.

"That's kind of mind-boggling. I think I talk about that. That, you know, I never set out to be the first," he said.

"You're sort of waiting around for somebody else to … raise their hand," Collins went on to explain. "I'm ready to raise my hand but, you know, you still look around like, 'OK, come on, guys.' It's time for someone else in the room to raise their hand and say, 'You know what? Yeah, so big deal. I can still play basketball. I can still help the team win, and that's what's most important.'"

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Gay Athletes Gay Rights Homophobia In Sports Jason Collins Lgbt Rights Sports Sports Culture Video