Collins signs with Nets as first openly gay player
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
(Reuters) - Veteran NBA player Jason Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, making him the first openly gay athlete on a team roster in any of North America's four major professional sports leagues.
Collins, who last April revealed that he was gay in a Sports Illustrated article that was published after the National Basketball Association regular season, joined the Nets before their Sunday game in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
"Official: The #Nets have signed @jasoncollins34 to a 10-day contract," the NBA team announced on Twitter.
The 35-year-old is not a well-known sports star but won widespread praise for his groundbreaking personal statement issued 10 months ago. Collins, who was nearing the end of his career, was not subsequently signed for the 2013-2014 season.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was quick to issue a welcoming statement.
"Jason told us that his goal was to earn another contract with an NBA team," said Silver.
"Today, I want to commend him on achieving his goal. I know everyone in the NBA family is excited for him and proud that our league fosters an inclusive and respectful environment."
Nets general manager Billy King stressed that the signing of the 7-foot center helped the Atlantic division team on the court. Continued...