(EDGE) During an impassioned address at the Democratic National Convention Monday night, ex-NBA star Jason Collins told the crowd in Philadelphia that he revealed that he was gay to the Clinton family before going public with the news.

"My dream was to play in the NBA and to live my authentic life as a proud gay man at the same time. I was able to accomplish both of those goals because of the people who have supported me throughout my life," Collins said. "Before I came out to the world on the cover of Sports Illustrated, I came out privately to the Clinton family. I've 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 for 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."

Related: Jason Collins Praises NCAA For Speaking Out Against Indiana Law

According to ESPN, Collins has been friends with Chelsea Clinton since the two of them were freshmen at Stanford University.

Collins also took time in his speech to praise the NBA for moving the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, North Carolina in protest over the state's recently adopted anti-LGBT law.

"As a member of the NBA family and as a gay man, I'm extremely proud to see the NBA take initiative and move the All Star Game from North Carolina. Their decision is an extremely poignant one and shows that discrimination of any kind is not welcome in sports and is not acceptable in any part of our society. The NBA has set the best kind of example and precedent moving forward for all to follow," Collins said.


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