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Jason Collins signs with Brooklyn Nets, becomes 1st openly gay NBA player

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Updated: 12:30 p.m. PST

Jason Collins became the NBA’s first active openly gay player Sunday, signing a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

Collins will join the Nets for their game Sunday night in Los Angeles against the Lakers. The 35-year-old center revealed at the end of last season he is gay, but he was a free agent and had remained unsigned.

With a need for another big man, the Nets turned to the 7-foot Collins, who helped them reach two NBA Finals in the early 2000s.

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

Collins has played 12 NBA seasons, including his first seven with the Nets, when they were in New Jersey and Jason Kidd was their point guard. Kidd is now the Nets’ coach and Collins has been a teammate of several other current Nets.

“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. I know everyone in the NBA family is excited for him and proud that our league fosters an inclusive and respectful environment,” Commissioner Adam Silver said.

The Nets worked out Collins during the All-Star break and met with him again Sunday, with his twin brother, Jarron, hinting that history would be made.

“Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday. Today should be a pretty cool day!” Jarron Collins wrote on Twitter.

Jason Collins played 38 games last season with Boston and Washington and averaged 1.1 points and 1.6 rebounds in limited minutes. For his career, the 7-foot Collins averages 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds.

The Nets had an opening for a big man after trading Reggie Evans along with Jason Terry to Sacramento on Wednesday for guard Marcus Thornton.

The news on Collins comes as Michael Sam, the SEC defensive player of the year from Missouri who recently revealed he is gay, is taking part in the NFL draft combine. Sam’s on-field workouts in Indianapolis are scheduled for Monday.

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33 more reader comments:

  1. :-)…

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 6:23pm
  2. So glad that other athletes are coming out now! This is such a great thing!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 6:24pm
  3. And then there will be more, and we won’t have to even talk about it because it will be “normal”. I like that

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 6:31pm
  4. Sue Edgerton, you took the words right out of my mouth. They will just be excellent players....and excellent nurses, and teachers and doctors and store clerks, and managers.....as a gay man, I long for that day in my lifetime.

    Replied on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:05pm
  5. So do I for you, and my son and his excellent partner

    Replied on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:07pm
  6. He better not go to Arizona. .He would starve. THEY want to refuse to serve..

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 6:31pm
  7. Go Jason!!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 6:33pm
  8. Ist Wentworth Miller, then Collins. Am proud to be gay

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 6:33pm
  9. Sue Edgerton
    Now, Wouldn’t That Be Nice !!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 6:38pm
  10. Let’s see if they have enough balls to do this.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 6:52pm
  11. if only everyone could be honest and true to him/herself…..live life in an open free way…..there would be less hate, bigotry, separation, and mental illness! what a nice thought.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 6:57pm
  12. this is so damn awesome!!!! makes the heart happy!!!!!! :) <3

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 6:59pm
  13. Knok em dead dude. Good luck Jason………..Chicago.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 7:09pm
  14. Welcome to the family!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 7:39pm
  15. Good For U !!! :-)

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:06pm
  16. Congrats!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:14pm
  17. Cool

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:27pm
  18. Go my brother!!!:)

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:27pm
  19. Yay! There is hope. Congratulations.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:48pm
  20. praises to ya mr collins always be open about who you r

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:49pm
  21. but he doesn’t want the whole world to have known about he, i saw in another article he still wants to be classed as the NBA player and not just the openly gay player but i do see why he may get hatred off others and he would get slaughtered meaning bullied a lot.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:49pm
  22. anyway i wanted to say to anyone who is struggling or have been experiencing problems with anything that it will be okay you can talk to me if you have any problems message me on here or something im always here:)

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:53pm
  23. Let’s hope we get to a time when he will be just a player. Not an “openly gay player.” Congrats to you Mr. Collins!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:53pm
  24. Good job & best wishes, Jason Collins!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:54pm
  25. You #betrue dude! :3 good for him!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:55pm
  26. Yeah!!! ;)

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:55pm
  27. Cool.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:58pm
  28. Y not? Gays are the best ball players…

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:58pm
  29. yeyyyyyyyy

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:01pm
  30. Chloé!! My family member came out <- He’s a Collins too

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:06pm
  31. I can see it.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:09pm
  32. OMG I thought it was just a football thing, hahahahaha

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:13pm
  33. Good for him, be yourself nobody does it better!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:13pm