Jason Collins signs 10-day contract with Nets, becomes first openly gay NBA player

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Last year, Jason Collins became the first active NBA player to come out of the closet. He did so on his own terms, giving a lengthy interview to Sports Illustrated about his love of the game, his sexuality, and how he could no longer live in the closet. Collins was a free agent at the time, and he hasn’t played on a team since last April. Until last night! Yesterday, the Brooklyn Nets were the first team in NBA history to sign an openly gay player.

Does it make a difference if they only signed Jason to a 10-day contract? Maybe, maybe not. I believe that the Nets deserve some applause for being the first team brave enough/smart enough to sign Jason, even if it’s just for a short period. And hey, maybe they’ll sign him for longer after the 10 days are done. When Jason came on the court yesterday (the Nets were playing the Lakers, in LA), the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Isn’t that cool? I think it’s cool.

And here’s what made me cry a little this morning: Jason plans to wear the number “98” in honor of Matthew Shepard, the young college student who was murdered in a hate crime in 1998 in Wyoming. Collins wore “98” with the Wizards and the Celtics too, but this time Jason will be wearing the number as an openly gay man. *applause*

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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25 Responses to “Jason Collins signs 10-day contract with Nets, becomes first openly gay NBA player”

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    • Crank says:

      I’m probably going to take some flak for this post…first let me say that I think it’s awesome he’s an openly gay player. That being said, he did AWFUL in the game, and I don’t get why this has to be news. I’m waiting for when someone ‘coming out’ isn’t newsworthy. I thought the point of his coming out was to fight for equality, but all this news about him and his contract just singles him out as a ‘different’ person even more to me, especially when he’s not that great if a player. It’s like the only reason why his contract is news is because he’s gay. Just my opinion, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Still congrats to him.

      • Tessy says:

        No flack from me. It shouldn’t matter whether someone is gay or straight and it shouldn’t be newsworthy either.

      • Joh says:

        It has to be newsworthy when it’s the first.
        The first professional athletes who were black were news back in the day too.
        As more gay athletes play who are gay play in the open as gay, people will stop caring.
        This is great news for all the gay 12 year olds out there, even if the general public is a bit aggravated about it, and don’t see why why it matters. This is a great start to help end all the gay teen suicides, to see that gay people are not monsters.

      • Crank says:

        JOH- fair enough, I still don’t understand how he got the contract though when he’s really not that great of a player (and I thought he was on the verge of retiring? Maybe I misheard that somewhere).

  1. FLORC says:

    Ugh. That Shephard story was horrific. i kind of forgot all about it.
    Good for him on several fronts. And for bringing attention back to a tragic death.

    Ultimately if he’s talented and helps the team earn wins he could paint himself like the gay pride flag and no one will care. It always comes back to how profitable the person is.

  2. AG says:

    Congrats to him! More players in the hypermasculine world of sports should be so brave.

  3. aims says:

    I don’t really understand the ten day thing.

    Firstly; he’s really cute. Secondly; I get a warm feeling that as a society we’re growing. I think we have a long way to go in our understanding and tolerance of others. But I’d like to think we’re slowly getting there. I wish him a successful year.

  4. Nikkie says:

    10 days is better than no days. Gives him some opportunity to show the team he is worth investing in. Props to him for the #98.

  5. kay says:

    they only signed him because he’s gay, he’s not that good, it’s just a publicity stunt

    • Kim1 says:

      Well good for them
      That’s better than NOT signing a player because he is Gay or rumored to be Gay.
      For that matter its better than NOT hiring anybody simply because they are Gay.

    • Tulip says:

      I’ll take publicity stunt in a pinch, if it means that people will be more accepting. It’s scraping the barrel in terms of good reasons, but as long as it achieves the goal, what the hey. I’m already dreaming of a day when this (along with other athletes being openly gay) means high schools sports will be less vicious toward gays.

      Congrats and good luck Jason

    • Boxy Lady says:

      Jason Collins played for the Nets years ago at the beginning of his career when the Nets were still in NJ. And if I remember correctly, the current Nets coach Jason Kidd was the point guard at the time. So probably not just a publicity stunt. Jason Kidd is in his first year of coaching and he wants to win. Why shouldn’t he try out the skills of a former teammate to see if he fits in?

  6. dizzylucy says:

    Good luck to him – the 10 day thing sounds like a paid try-out, I hope he does well.