Jason Collins (left), then of the Washington Wizards, during a game this month against the Chicago Bulls.
Credit Jim Young / Reuters /Landov
"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport," National Basketball Association center Jason Collins writes in a Sports Illustrated essay posted Monday, "but since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation."
With that, the 34-year-old veteran of 12 NBA seasons and six pro teams becomes the first active player in the four major American team sports to come out.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.
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SIMON: And in the NBA playoffs last night, the Knicks went to Boston; boy did they have a tea party. The Spurs put the metal to L.A. and the Nuggets dug up Golden State. No, got dug up by Golden State. It was close, though. Just a couple of points. How many more metaphors can I twist in this intro? Plus one of the most important meniscuses, or is that menisci, in the Western Conference has been torn.
Good morning. I'm David Greene, with a story of a harried sports fan - or, rather, a hairy sports fan. Thomas McAllister believes in his Washington, D.C. team so much that he's vowing not to shave until one of them - the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals or Nationals - wins a championship. The Washington Post says he hasn't shaved since last June, a day before he got married. Facebook followers have given his red fan beard a name: Lombeardi.
SIMON: Spring has sprung with a doubleheader of baseball - spring training and the World Baseball Classic. Nothing classic, though, about the defeat of the U.S. team last night by Puerto Rico. They were eliminated but doesn't really matter. The Miami Heat continue the streak while a college team does too, just in the opposite direction. We're joined now from Sedona, Arizona by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. Good morning, Howard.