Jason Collins signs with Nets, becomes NBA’s first openly gay athlete
he Nets announced the signing of Jason Collins to a 10-day contract on Sunday, making him the first openly gay athlete in NBA history.
Collins will be available when the Nets face the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday.
“Jason told us that his goal was to earn another contract with an NBA team,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “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.”
The signing, which was first reported by ESPN.com, drew praise from Athlete Ally, a non-profit organization that fights against homophobia in sports.
“We are entering a new era of inclusion with Jason Collins, the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA at the forefront,” Hudson Taylor, Athlete Ally’s executive director, said in a statement. “Jason may be the first, but he’s not the last. It’s because of him and the unprecedented leadership of professional leagues like the NBA that we’ll see more and more LGBT athletes at all levels of competition.”
The Nets had been mulling the decision of whether to sign Collins for days, but were waiting to see whether Glen Davis, who was recently bought out by the Magic, would potentially sign with them after clearing waivers. But according to Shelburne, Davis has given the Los Angeles Clippers “a sense that he’s decided to join them.”