Culture of Hoops

Jason Collins signs Nets, becomes first active openly gay player

Image courtesy of  joshuak8/Flickr.

Image courtesy of joshuak8/Flickr.

Jason Collins was signed by the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday and will become the first openly gay athlete to play in not only the NBA, but any major American sport.

Collins, who announced his sexuality last year, hasn’t played in the NBA since April 2013 for the Washington Wizards. He did not receive an invite to camp this season, but has signed a 10-day contract with Brooklyn and appeared in Sunday’s matchup in Los Angeles to take on the Lakers.

Collins has averaged 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds over 12 seasons. The Nets hope that 7-footer can help the nets on the glass above all else. They were out-rebounded by a shorthanded Golden State Warriors team on Saturday night 50-39. Brooklyn has lacked size ever since their All-Star center Brook Lopez went down in December.

The old and banged up Brooklyn squad will need all of the depth they can find as they make a push down the final stretch of the regular season, trying to secure a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference

The signing of Collins comes just two weeks after NFL draft prospect Michael Sam announced he was gay and, after draft day, would become the NFL’s first openly gay athlete.

This is a huge step for our country and the world for that matter. In 2014 there should not be limitations set on any individual because of their race, sexual orientation, religion or any other lifestyle simply because some may see it as “different.” It’s time we as human beings moved on to bigger and better things than passing judgement onto others.

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