First openly gay NBA Player Jason Collins
The Brooklyn Nets have signed Jason Collins to to 10 day contract (not a typo, apparently they’ll do that and re-sign people the following year) making him the first openly gay player in history.
With the signing, the NBA is the first of the Big Four sports leagues in the United States to have an active openly gay player. To be sure, they already had that distinction last spring when Collins first came out publicly. But then he was at the end of a contract and no playing time was in sight.
This is completely different. This is a team signing a player knowing he’s gay. It’s a team owned by a hip-hop mogul, a former NBA star and a Russian.
Even more importantly, the Nets are a team fighting for a playoff spot. Currently tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference, they are only four games out of the dreaded ninth spot. This isn’t a team looking for a publicity stunt to sell tickets: This is a team looking for home-court advantage in the first round and a shot at the NBA Finals.
This is huge.
Just last year, people said this was impossible.
That door opened and he’s running through it.
The Nets make perfect sense. Collins played with coach Jason Kidd for the first eight years of his career and just last season took the court with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett while with the Boston Celtics. In an Outsports poll last spring, the Nets led the Jason Collins speculation parade, tied with the Los Angeles Clippers.
It’s also fitting that a Brooklyn team be the one to sign him. It was the Brooklyn Dodgers who made history signing Jackie Robinson all those decades ago. It started a trickle that became a tidal wave. We’ll see if the future holds the same here.
For now, history will be made: An openly gay man will take the court for an NBA team. He will be cheered by NBA fans. He will get high-fives from his NBA teams. Yes, he will be in an NBA locker room.
And everything will be just fine.
Tags: awesome, brooklyn, jason collins, nets, sports