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Brendon Ayanbadejo Interviews Jason Collins on Being Gay in the NBA: VIDEO

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Jason Collins phoned in to speak with LGBT ally and former Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo on FOXSports' 'Unconventional Wisdom' podcast for a wide-ranging interview about joining the Brooklyn Nets, how he stayed in physical and mental shape while waiting for a team to call him up from his free agent status.

Said Collins: “You try to control what you can control. What was in my hand was how hard I worked.  I put myself in the best possible position.”

Collins downplays the anti-gay slurs he received from one "knucklehead" and also tells Ayanbadejo that his boyfriend has come on the road with the team and that the reception has been great. Collins says he has heard no derogatory words in the locker room.

Collins also talks about being a mentor to Michael Sam and running together, as well as meeting Matthew Shepard's parents, a moment that brings up plenty of emotion.

Listen to the full interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Brendon Ayanbadejo Interviews Jason Collins on Being Gay in the NBA: VIDEO" »


Jason Collins Says NBA Player Taunted Him With Anti-Gay Remark

In an interview with the NY Daily News, Jason Collins reveals that, since he became the first openly gay player in the NBA, another player shouted an anti-gay taunt at him during a game. Despite the insult from the unidentified player, Collins says he kept his cool on the court.

JcFrom the moment he embarked down this trailblazing path, Jason Collins has said that he’d turn the other cheek when faced with ignorance, accepting that he can’t control the words and actions of idiots.

He was tested once during his first month with the Brooklyn Nets, although the NBA’s first openly gay player understandably doesn’t want to give attention to the “knucklehead” or his comments.

“One player, one knucklehead from another team,” Collins said in an interview with the Daily News. “He’s a knucklehead. So I just let it go. Again, that goes back to controlling what you can control. That’s how I conduct myself just being professional.”

In the interview, Collins also acknowledged his responsibility as a role model.

Despite his attempts to divert the conversation from anything unrelated to basketball when talking to the Nets media, Collins is aware of his role as a civil leader. It can be seen in his Twitter account, where he brings attention to health care reform, marriage equality and an NFL combine update about gay footballer player Michael Sam.

“As an individual, as a person, as a human being, you have a lot of different hats that you wear,” he said. “Whether you’re an athlete or a human being trying to empower and help others. I’m trying to, again, empower and help others any way that I can.”

It was revealed last week that Collins will play for the Brooklyn Nets for the rest of the season


Brooklyn Nets to Sign Jason Collins for the Rest of the Season

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Jason Collins will sign with the Brooklyn Nets for the remainder of the season, ESPN reports:

Sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday that the Nets, who feel they're getting everything they expected from Collins when they signed him for frontcourt depth Feb. 23, are already operating under the premise that the 34-year-old will finish the season with them even though his second 10-day deal doesn't expire until after Friday. Sources say that the internal expectation all along was that Collins would be a Net for the rest of the season, from the moment he signed his first 10-day deal, as long he proved that he could still be an effective defender, which he did immediately.

Great news!


Jason Collins Makes Home Debut with the Brooklyn Nets to Big Ovation: VIDEO

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Last night, Jason Collins played his first home game with the Brooklyn Nets, entering in the last three minutes to a big ovation from the crowd.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

As we reported last night, Collins looks to be getting a second 10-day contract after his first expires today. There are also reports from SB Nation that the NBA will sign him for the rest of the season.

Nets general manager Billy King said in a team statement last week that the decision to bring Collins in was a basketball decision, but his presence has had a major impact regardless of reasoning and statistics. Collins is averaging 0.8 points and one rebound in 8.5 minutes, while shooting 25 percent from the floor.

The NYT adds:

When Collins joined the Nets late last month, Adam Silver, the new N.B.A. commissioner, called the first 10-day contract “a legitimate basketball decision.” What may have sounded like a prepared party line was the truth.

The Nets needed a big man to fortify their frontcourt. Certainly they would have preferred to add a player who was more athletic and prolific than the 35-year-old Collins, but good luck finding an unemployed one four months into the season.

They went with an aging veteran who was familiar to their coach, Jason Kidd, a former teammate of Collins’s, and to several veterans. It took one game for Collins to actualize Silver’s assertion.

The typical 10-day signee lends a practice body and tries to look focused at the end of the bench. Collins was an immediate contributor as an N.B.A. temp worker, playing several minutes down the stretch of a narrow victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Continue reading "Jason Collins Makes Home Debut with the Brooklyn Nets to Big Ovation: VIDEO" »


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”.


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.


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