NEW YORK (AP) — Jason Collins, the NBA veteran who last week announced he was gay, is 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 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.
The publishing officials said Collins was working on the book with Sports Illustrated’s Franz Lidz, to whom he broke the news that he was gay, and was being represented by Kristine Dahl of International Creative Management. Dahl did not immediately respond to phone and email messages left by the AP.
At least one publisher turned down the book, said one official, who noted the extensive media coverage of Collins and expressed concern that his story already has been told.
Earlier Monday, the Democratic National Committee announced Collins would headline its annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender gala, on May 29. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, has phoned the 34-year-old athlete to praise him for his courage.
Collins, who has played for six teams during 12 seasons, was most recently a center for the Washington Wizards. He becomes a free agent on July 1.