Jason Collins
Jason Collins is the first openly gay athlete in one of the four major American sports. During his 12-year career, Collins has played for six different teams and was always viewed strong leader on the court and in the locker room. Reuters

Jason Collins made history this week by publicly announcing that he is gay.

In an article written for Sports Illustrated, Collins came out of the closet, making him the only openly gay basketball player. He is the first athlete in team sports to reveal his homosexuality, while still in the midst of his playing career.

For his entire time in the NBA, Collins had never admitted to being gay. For the first 33 years, he also kept this secret from his twin brother and former professional basketball player, Jarron Collins.

In the latest edition of Sports Illustrated, Jarron talks about the time Jason told him he was gay. The two had a conversation last summer that left Jarron stunned.

“I won't lie. I had no idea,” writes Jarron. “We talked, he answered my questions, I hugged him and I digested what he had told me. At the end of the day, this is what matters: He's my brother, he's a great guy, and I want him to be happy. I'll love him and I'll support him and, if necessary, I'll protect him.”

The two brother played basketball together at Stanford and were both selected in the 2001 NBA Draft. Jason split time with the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards this past season, while Jarron last played in the league in 2011.

After being in the public eye for over a decade, Jarron is prepared for the fallout that may come from his brother’s admission.

“This announcement will be surprising to some people. I already anticipate the questions: ‘Are you the gay twin or the straight one?’ This is uncharted territory, and no one can predict how it will play out.”

Jarron has vowed to stand by his brother, who is hoping to continue his NBA career. Jason is a free agent and it’s unknown whether or not an NBA team will sign him for next season.