BROOKLYN (CBS SF) – Jason Collins, the first openly gay man in one of the four major professional sports, has decided to retire from the National Basketball Association.

He made the announcement in an article he penned for Sports Illustrated, 18 months after he came out in the same publication.

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“On Wednesday at the Barclays Center, I plan to announce my retirement as an NBA player. The day will be especially meaningful for me because the Nets will be playing the Bucks, who are coached by Jason Kidd, my former teammate and my coach in Brooklyn,” Collins wrote.

Kidd was one of many who cheered the decision by Collins to come out, posting on Twitter “Jason’s sexuality doesn’t change the fact that he is a great friend and was a great teammate.”

Collins said “it feels wonderful to have been a part of these milestones for sports and for gay rights, and to have been embraced by the public, the coaches, the players, the league and history.”

After making his announcement, Collins signed on with the Brooklyn Nets, playing in 22 games in the 2013-14 season. Overall, he played 13 seasons in the NBA.

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He said among the great memories from last season – the warm applause he received in Los Angeles for his first game with the Nets, the standing ovation he received at his first home game in Brooklyn, and meeting the family of Matthew Shepard in Denver. Shepard was a gay college student beaten to death in a 1998 hate crime on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. Collins wore the number 98 to honor Shepard’s memory.

“When we get to the point where a gay pro athlete is no longer forced to live in fear that he’ll be shunned by teammates or outed by tabloids, when we get to the point where he plays while his significant other waits in the family room, when we get to the point where he’s not compelled to hide his true self and is able to live an authentic life, then coming out won’t be such a big deal. But we’re not there yet,” wrote Collins.

Michael Sam came out before this past NFL draft and was selected by the St. Louis Rams, but has since been released and remains a free agent.

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