Collins tells his personal coming out story in video above. He explains why he chose to wear the jersey number 98: “The year 1998, the Trevor Project was founded and Matthew Shepard was killed. Each time I put on the jersey, it reminded me of how proud I am of being gay.”
Collins’ coming out sparked conversation throughout the world, especially among sports fans and commenters. In the clip above, basketball legends Charles Barkley and Shaq discuss Collins’ announcement and their history playing with gay teammates.
Outside the court, Collins became a pop-culture figure as well. He helped introduce Macklemore at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2013. The intro, alongside A$AP Rocky, caused a little controversy when Rocky’s facial expression looked uncomfortable. The rapper would go on to apologize.
Overwhelming support poured in for Collins following his Sports Illustrated article, including some from the White House. President Obama gives Collins a shoutout in the video above. He called Collins personally to congratulate him and recently appointed Collins to his Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. The First Lady invited Collins to sit in her State of the Union box.
Although Collins played his first game with the Nets at the Staples Center, he received a huge ovation from the crowd at Barclays Center when he made his home debut in March. You can check it out in the clip above. There was unprecedented demand for his jersey when it became for sale by the NBA.
Are you a Collins fan?