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NBA to Donate Proceeds from Jason Collins Jerseys to LGBT Groups

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The NBA will donate proceeds from sales of Jason Collins jerseys to LGBT causes, specifically GLSEN and the Matthew Shepard Foundation, the Guardian reports:

The league said on Friday that donations would total no less than $100,000, and it will also auction off Collins’s autographed, game-worn jerseys to benefit the same organisations.

Collins says he is thrilled to help the organisations that “work tirelessly to ensure LGBT youth get the resources and assistance they need to be successful in life”.


Jason Collins, Who Wears '98' in Tribute to Matthew Shepard, Met His Parents Last Night: PHOTO

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Brooklyn Nets player Jason Collins, who wears '98' as a tribute to Matthew Shepard who was brutally murdered that year, met Shepard's parents and brother Logan for the first time last night after they drove four hours from their home in Casper, Wyoming to see him in Denver. He presented them with a jersey.

Said Collins before the meeting:

“I was in college at the time when [Matthew] was killed. Of course it’s a tragedy what happened and I just hope it inspires others to come forward. It’s definitely going to be special meeting them after the game (Thursday) and I’m looking forward to it."

Collins' jersey has been selling in record numbers since it went on the NBA's website earlier this week.

The NY Daily News adds:

Asked if he thought the popularity of the jersey could be seen as a symbol of support for those uncomfortable about revealing their sexuality, Collins said, “That’s something for you guys to speculate on. But I’m always encouraging others to live their life and speak up and come forward if you want to, and know that if you do there’s a lot of people waiting to support you.”

Tweeted Collins, with the above photo: "I'm so fortunate to have met Matthew Shepard's parents and brother tonight after @BrooklynNets win tonight in Denver"

An interview with Collins, and Shepard, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jason Collins, Who Wears '98' in Tribute to Matthew Shepard, Met His Parents Last Night: PHOTO" »


NBA Commissioner Adam Silver: Gay Player Should Have Happened Long Ago, 'Sports...Fell Behind'

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke with the New York Post about Jason Collins signing with the Brooklyn Nets and expressed regret that this moment hadn't come sooner for the league and sports in general:

Silver“I have mixed feelings, because I’m enormously proud that the first openly gay player is playing in the NBA. On the other hand, this is so long overdue that I don’t think this should necessarily be on the list of the greatest accomplishments of the NBA. This is an area where no one in sports should be too proud. Sports has led society in so many critical areas … this is one where we fell behind.”

Silver added:

“I was disappointed that he wasn’t on a roster at the opening of this season, but I was satisfied after talking to [Collins’ agent] Arn Tellem and talking to several GMs that teams were making a basketball decision, and the fact he wasn’t on a roster at the beginning of this year wasn’t related to his sexuality. And several teams predicted that a team would add him after the trading deadline, so I’m thrilled that this moment has come. And while it shouldn’t be such a big deal, it is a big deal. It’s a big deal for Jason, it’s a big deal for the gay community, and the NBA is proud that he feels comfortable doing it in our league.”

The NBA yesterday began selling a Brooklyn Nets jersey with Collins' name and number on it. The jersey quickly became the league's top-selling piece of apparel under "unprecedented" demand.


NBA to Sell Jason Collins Brooklyn Nets Jerseys, Calls Demand for Them 'Unprecedented'

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The NBA will soon do something uncommon for a player signed to a 10-day contract: sell that player's jersey.

But there is "unprecedented" demand for apparel bearing the name of Jason Collins, the first openly gay player in the NBA, the NYT reports:

On Monday, inquiries by those eager to buy a Nets jersey with Collins’s name started to multiply. On Tuesday, Collins jerseys will go on sale at the N.B.A.’s retail shop in Manhattan and at NBAstore.com.

Collins’s jersey number of choice is 98, in honor of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student from Wyoming who was murdered in 1998. But on Sunday, when the Nets acted quickly to get Collins in uniform for a game against the Los Angeles Lakers, they had to resort to a generic jersey the team travels with in case of emergencies.

As a result, Collins wore No. 46 in the Nets’ 108-102 victory over the Lakers, a game in which he logged 11 minutes, grabbed two rebounds and finished with an impressive plus-8 for his time on the court. On Tuesday, Collins will get to have his first practice with his new teammates. On Wednesday, he will presumably be wearing a No. 98 uniform in Portland against the Trail Blazers.

According to the NBA, fans will be able to buy Collins apparel online starting today.


Jason Collins Debuts for the Brooklyn Nets, Making History as the NBA's First Openly Gay Player: VIDEO

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Here is Jason Collins' historic debut with the Brooklyn Nets at the Nets vs. Lakers game tonight.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jason Collins Debuts for the Brooklyn Nets, Making History as the NBA's First Openly Gay Player: VIDEO" »


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.


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