Jason Collins, center in the N.B.A., came out as gay Monday in the May 6 online edition of Sports Illustrated, the New York Times said.
"Imagine you're in the oven, baking," Collins said to Sports Illustrated. "Some of us know and accept our sexuality right away and some need more time to cook. I should know - I baked for 33 years."
Collins became the first openly gay male athlete to still play in a major American team sport. Athletes such as former N.B.A. center John Amaechi waited until retirement to come out to the public, the New York Times said.
Collins received support from teammates, league executives and major National Basketball Association stars such as Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade.