Just weeks after Michael Sam announced his sexuality to the world on live television, Jason Collins, the first NBA player to publicity admit he was homosexual was signed by the Brooklyn Nets. This makes Jason Collins the first openly gay athlete to play in any of the four major team sports ever (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL).

 

(Related: American Football Player Michael Sam Says, “I am Gay”)

 

Jason Collins. Photo:Bruce Bennett/NBAE/Getty Images

Jason Collins. Photo:Bruce Bennett/NBAE/Getty Images

Before signing with the New Jersey Nets, Collins was a free agent veteran with fifteen years of NBA experience.

His career started during his senior year at Stanford where he earned a spot on the All-American third team. In his rookie year he played for the Nets against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals

 

 

He continued to play for the Nets through to 2008, before moving on several other teams.  After the 2012-2013 season came to a close, Collins publicly admitted his sexual preference  and became a free agent until February 23, 2014 when he signed a ten day contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

 

The league’s wide support for Collins coming out as gay is very commendable.  Kobe Bryant was one of the many players to speak up on the Nets signing Collins:

 

“There is a kid out there who … is going to say, ‘Jason gave me strength in dark moments to be brave. He gave me courage to step up and accept myself for who I am despite what others might be saying or the public pressures. He gave me strength and bravery to be myself.”

 

 

The sporting-world’s acceptance of players like Jason Collins and Michael Sam, is a profound sign that we have come a long way as a society. So far Collins has suited up for just one game with the Nets in which he played about ten minuets, scored zero points and grabbed two rebounds.  Michael Sam has yet to play a down of NFL football. Still both of these men are making earnest effects on numerous people in this world.

 

So, what are your thoughts?  Feel free to share your insights via the comment section, or tweet me @procsss.