Gay NBA star Jason Collins mentoring sport stars in the closet

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Gay basketball star Jason Collins has said he is now helping to mentor a number of other LGBT players who remain in the closet.

Jason Collins became the NBA’s first gay player to come out and continue playing in 2013, subsequently signing up to the Brooklyn Nets.

However, he retired from the sport in November 2014, and has shifted towards a number of advocacy roles.

The athlete revealed to the New York Daily News that since he stepped away from his playing career, he has been helping a number of players who remain in the closet.

He said: “I’m in contact with other athletes, collegiate and professionally who are members of the LGBT community who maybe aren’t ready to come out publicly but they have in their private lives.

“At this point it’s up to each individual person who has their life to live.
 “I would hope that one day they do come out, especially while they’re active because you can see from my example, you can see from Robbie Rogers in soccer, you can have the best of both worlds.

“I know there are more members of the LGBT community who haven’t yet stepped forward and [I’m] encouraging them that when they do that the world is ready to accept them and support them.

“As far as the NBA goes, the NBA is an incredible league.

“Basketball is a sport of inclusion and diversity and I hope they’re able to know how good it will be to be able to live their lives that.”

“I love retirement. I’m still active. I still travel around the country and speak to people about various issues, whether it be civil rights, LGBT issues, physical activity, basketball leadership, I do a lot of traveling.”