Jason Collins to headline fundraiser
WASHINGTON -- The Democratic National Committee says NBA veteran Jason Collins will headline its annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender gala.
Last week, Collins became the first active male player in any of four major U.S. professional sports leagues to come out as gay. President Barack Obama called the 34-year-old athlete the same day to congratulate him and tell him he was proud of his courage.
The DNC says first lady Michelle Obama will also attend the May 29 fundraiser in New York. Tickets start at $1,250 per person and go up to $32,400 per couple to chair the event.
The DNC included a call to legalize same-sex marriage in the party's convention platform last year.
Collins is also disputing reports from publishing insiders who say he is shopping a book deal.
Officials at three publishing houses told The Associated Press on Monday that they had been contacted about a planned memoir by Collins, the first active male player in any of four major U.S. professional sports leagues to come out as gay. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the proceedings.
Collins tweeted that it wasn't so: "I have no current plans to write any books. Sorry to disappoint my literary loving fans," he said, adding a hashtag "GoingToTheGym."
Collins' agent, Arn Tellem, also disputed the claim in a statement released Monday night.
"As you can imagine, we've been inundated with all kinds of requests and various opportunities, but as of now have not had any discussions on behalf of Jason regarding a potential book deal because Jason has yet to decide if he wants to write a book," Tellem said.
"Right now my focus is preparing for Jason's upcoming free agency and securing the best opportunity for him to continue his career," Tellem added.
Collins has played for six teams in 12 seasons and is now a free agent.