CARLE PLACE - NBA player Jason Collins became the first openly gay active athlete today when he came out to the public.

Collins, 34, disclosed that he's gay in the latest edition of Sports Illustrated. The free agent says he knows coming out might turn some teams away and that the true test will come next season.

Long Island Pride Sports Association Vice President Tami Francis says Collins is now a role model for many others who want the world to know who they really are.

"Nobody should have to live in the closet, and the more people who come out famous, not famous, the more accepting the world and society will become," Francis says.