Basketball legend turned entrepreneur Magic Johnson tours the Sports Museum of America in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (AP2008)
At a 1991 press conference, NBA megastar Magic Johnson announced that he had tested positive for HIV. He retired from basketball and subsequently served as a public voice for HIV-AIDS education, prevention and anti-discrimination efforts.
Last month, NBA player Jason Collins announced that he is gay. While he justly deserves praise for an action that puts him among the first active American athletes in any of the four major professional team sports to publicly so identify, it has also been widely noted that he is far from early or alone in the coming out ranks of major athletes. Celebrity names already dot that list too — Greg Louganis, Martina Navratilova, Sheryl Swoopes and former NFL player Wade Davis among them.