Breaking a sports barrier, NBA center Jason Collins announced that he was gay in a cover story for Sports Illustrated.
The veteran NBA center has become the first male professional athlete in the major four American sports leagues to come out as gay. Collins wrote a first-person account posted April 29, 2013 on Sports Illustrated's website.
Collins (seen in this September 2012 file photo as a member of the Boston Celtics) finished this past season with the Washington Wizards and is now a free agent.
He joins a growing list of international sports stars who have come out publicly in recent years.
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Greg Louganis publicly announced he was gay in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1995. The four-time Olympic gold medal winner's life story was dramatized in the 1996 Showtime movie "Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story" with Mario Lopez playing the title character.
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Australia's high diving champion Matthew Mitcham came out in 2008 to The Sydney Morning Herald. The Brisbane-born athlete won gold later that year in the 10m high dive at the Beijing Games.
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Openly gay equestrian Carl Hester of Great Britain won gold for his country in Team Dressage at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
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The former world no. 1 ranked tennis player, Billie Jean King came out after her relationship with Marilyn Barnett ended. The subsequent "palimony" suit was filed in May, 1981, when King effectively became the first prominent professional female athlete known to be gay or lesbian.
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Boxer Orlando Cruz is seen here before a bout in Kissimmee, Florida on October 19, 2012. The Puerto Rican featherweight came out the same year, telling ESPN, "I have always been and always will be a proud gay man."
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Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. Women's National Team came out to "Out" magazine in 2012.
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Shortly after becoming a U.S. citizen in 1981, Martina Navratalova made public the fact that she was lesbian. The Czech-born tennis champion spent much of the height of her career as openly gay.
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Former NFL football player Esera Tuaolo announced in 2002 to HBO's "Real Sports" that he was gay. The 1989 Morris Trophy winner remains active in the fight against homophobia, and he is a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation.
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Johnny Weir spent much of his early career quiet on the matter of his sexuality. However, in his 2011 memoir, "Welcome to my World," the U.S. Olympic team skater came out as gay.
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Retired NBA center John Amaechi came out in 2007, becoming the first former NBA player to come out as openly gay.