Nets sign Jason Collins, becomes first openly gay player in the NBA

By Erica Albanese,

Jason Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. This will make him the first openly gay player in any of the four major sports leagues in North America.

According to Yahoo, Collins will be playing on Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The decision was finalized after the Nets' first choice, Glen Davis, decided to sign on with the Los Angeles Clippers. They then moved on to their second choice, Collins, reports Boston.com.

“Jason told us that his goal was to earn another contract with an NBA team. Today, I want to commend him on achieving his goal,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.

The 35-year-old center has been in the NBA for 12 years. He played last season for the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics. He has a career average of 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds. He played for the Nets from 2001-2008 alongside teammate/friend Jason Kidd, who is now his head coach.

Collins announced that he is gay in an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine last April, according to The NY Times. He gained support, but no contract to play, up until now.

“With Jason Collins signing with the Nets [Sunday], I [believe] our world as professional athletes will open up and become less ignorant of gay male [athletes] playing and more accepting and embracing of the whole situation,” Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried said in a statement.

image: Wikimedia Commons

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