Jason 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.