Former NBA player Jason Collins told
Democratic National Convention (DNC) delegates gathered in
Philadelphia that he came out to the Clintons before he went public.
Collins came out gay in a 2013 Sports
Illustrated cover story. The following summer, he appeared at
numerous Gay Pride festivals and events.
Collins spoke at the DNC on Tuesday,
along with his twin brother Jarron Collins, also a former NBA player.
“My dream was to play in the NBA and
to live my authentic life as a proud gay man at the same time. I was
able to accomplish both of those goals because of the people who have
supported me throughout my life. Before I came out to the world on
the cover of Sports Illustrated, I came out privately to the
Clinton family. I’ve known their family for almost 20 years,”
said Collins, who met Chelsea Clinton while attending Stanford
“I knew that they would accept me for
who I was and that they would help pave a path for others to do the
same. I am forever grateful for their words of wisdom back then and
for their unconditional support. They knew that my sexual orientation
made no difference in my ability to play basketball. Just as
someone’s gender makes no difference in his or her ability to lead
our nation,” he added.