Jason Collins Signs Contract With The Brooklyn Nets; Becomes First Openly Gay Player In The NBA

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It's official. Jason Collins is the very first active, openly gay player not only in the NBA but also in any major US sport.

The Brooklyn Nets announced over Twitter that they have signed Collins to a 10-day contract. They also tweeted out a photo of the actual signing.

ESPN reports:

"The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision," Nets 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."

The Nets moved quickly to make the historic signing of the 35-year-old free agent center to have another big body available against the Lakers. Brooklyn had been contemplating signing Collins for the past week and the need for Collins became greater after the Nets dealt rebounding specialist Reggie Evans to the Sacramento Kings last week.

Both Michael Sam and Robbie Rogers sent their congratulations out to Collins.

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There'll be no time wasted getting Collins on the court. He'll make his debut this with the Nets this evening in LA in a game against the Clippers.

Comments

  1. crispy says

    “Jason Collins is the very first active, openly gay player not only in the NBA but also in any major US sport.”

    Uh, no he’s not. Major League Soccer is a major U.S. sport and in fact gets higher average attendance than the NBA.

  2. jake says

    a 10 day contract is kind of common this late in the season-kind of a tryout. after the 10 days, they can resign him for another 10, but after that they would have to sign him on with a real contract or waive him.

    even without an additional contract, this is significant. but let’s be honest-he’s not a fantastic player and he’s really gonna have to put up big numbers to prove he can do this, especially under the spotlight he’s now under. it will be interesting…..

  3. Francis says

    A 10 day contract is essentially a temp deal. A tryout of sorts except it’s a tryout in actual game conditions. The Nets leadership and veteran players like Jason a lot for his attitude, hard work and interior defense.

    Jason’s future will depend on how he looks in this 10 day tryout and if the Nets sign another big man they’re interested in that’s also a free agent. Even if Jason only lasts 10 or 20 days (teams can sign an individual player twice for 10-days) at least someone has broken the barrier (along with Robbie Rogers).

    One day soon we’ll see that truly high level player come out and that’s when this discussion about gay people in sports completely ends, but in the meantime, this is a significant step forward, as was Robbie Rogers coming out. We’re not invisible anymore and we’re approaching a day being an out athlete isn’t news.

  4. robert says

    This is exciting. That looks like Jason Kidd, the Nets coach, alongside Jason Collins. Kidd was a player for CAL around the same time Jason and his brother were playing for Stanford, 2 bitter rivals in the Bay Area. I’m telling you, the circle will be unbroken.

  5. Brian W. says

    MLS is an emerging major sport. It doesn’t have the history or cultural significance as the NFL, NBA, MLB, or even NHL.

    More important than game attendance numbers are television ratings. MLS barely rates while the NBA makes billions of dollars in revenues.

    I don’t think it’s a slight against Robbie Rogers and it doesn’t seem he is taking it that way.

    Congrats to Jason Collins.

  6. MIke says

    I was reading about Bob Paris last night and it’s been about 15 years since he came out and some do consider bodybuilding a “sport”. He was Mr. Universe. Don’t forget about him. He even got married shortly after.

  7. Keith says

    I agree with others; why just a 10-day contract? I’ve never heard of this happening to any other NBA player. Any experts in the group who can explain the logic behind this decision would be appreciated. Could the contract be extended?

  8. Jerry says

    @Keith:

    It’s a common practice. Teams use it all the time to fill in spots when multiple players are unavailable due to injury. Think of it like a temp job.

  9. Jerry says

    @Keith:

    More to the point (as a matter of the players’ union policy), “Per the rules of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, a team can only sign a player to two 10-day contracts in the scope of one season. So if all goes well with the Nets, they would have to decide whether to sign Collins for the rest of the season either at the conclusion of this 10-day deal or the next.”

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