Jason Collins took the stage at the first night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, and he voiced his support for Hillary Clinton. Collins, who became the first openly gay active male athlete in a major American sports league in 2013, has known the Clinton family since he was Chelsea Clinton's classmate at Stanford. After Golden State Warriors assistant coach Jarron Collins introduced him as "my less handsome twin brother," he spoke about how the Clinton family was there for him.


"My dream was to play in the NBA and live my authentic life as a proud gay man at the same time," Collins said. "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 have known their family for almost 20 years.

"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 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."

Jason Collins speaks at the Democratic National Convention
Jason Collins speaks at the DNC. USATSI

Collins praised Hillary Clinton for her track record on LGBTQ issues, and he followed through on what he said he'd do when he retired in 2014. In his announcement on The Players' Tribune, Collins wrote that he would "continue to encourage others to live an authentic life," and that he hoped he would "inspire others to create a world of acceptance and inclusion." He just did that on a pretty big stage.