Sue Bird, one of the best female basketball players of all-time, has come out as gay.
In an interview with espnW, the WNBA legend revealed publicly for the first time what she says family members and friends have known for a very long time.
“I’m gay,” she told the website simply.
Moreover, Bird said she is dating U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe (below), who came out herself way back in 2012.
“Megan’s my girlfriend," said Bird, who starred in college for the University of Connecticut.
"These aren’t secrets to people who know me. I don’t feel like I’ve not lived my life. I think people have this assumption that if you’re not talking about it, you must be hiding it, like it’s this secret.
"That was never the case for me.”
Bird was the first overall pick of the 2002 WNBA Draft. She led UConn to an undefeated season that year and was named College Player of the Year.
She’s been selected to nine WNBA All-Star teams, led that league in assists on three occasions, earned two WNBA titles and four Olympic Gold Medals.
In 2011, she was voted by fans as one of the WNBA's Top 15 Players of All Time and was voted one of the WNBA's top 20 players of all-time.
He resume is unassailable.
Bird is not the first big-time women’s basketball player to come out as gay. Elena Delle Donne made a similar announcement last summer, for example.
And another former top pick, Brittney Griner, also opened up about her homosexuality in 2013.
Even prior to this public announcement, Bird stood in strong support of those who blazed a trail for her.
“It’s more about stigmas than anything else, and I think with those stigmas you have people who are going to be judged,” Bird told USA Today’s Sam Amick last year.
She elaborated at the time:
“I think on the men’s side, they’re not quite there yet. Jason Collins, for him to do that, particularly in the basketball world, he was the one who kind of broke down the barrier.
"And maybe in the future, it’ll change.
"But I think right now there’s still that stigma. I would love for it to change, because it’s really not that big of a deal in all reality."
Why did she make this confirmation right now?
"It's happening when it's happening because that's what feels right," Bird told ESPN.
"So even though I understand there are people who think I should have done it sooner, it wasn't right for me at the time. I have to be true to that.
"It's my journey."