25 Feb

Jason Collins Becomes NBA’s First Openly Gay Player After Signing With Brooklyn Nets

Jason Collins NBAJason Collins made history on Sunday, February 23, as he became the first openly gay athlete in North America’s four major professional sports after signing a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

A Great Opportunity

Collins checked in with 10:28 to go in the second quarter of the Brooklyn Nets vs Los Angeles Lakers game Sunday, where he received a round of applause from the Staples Center crowd.

“Sometimes in life something happens and there’s an opportunity,” he said shortly before the game, according to a report from the Associated Press.

“I’m very thankful for this opportunity. That’s why I work so hard, why I train the way I do so that when I do have an opportunity physically I’m not worried about my conditioning or cardio or anything along those lines.”

Not a Gender Issue

“The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision,” said Nets general manager Billy King.

“We needed to increase our depth inside, and with his experience and size, we felt he was the right choice for a 10-day contract.”

“I know that I can play in the NBA and it felt good to be out there tonight,” Collins said after the game.

The 35-year-old center revealed at the end of last season he is gay. He was a free agent then and had remained unsigned.