Jason Collins has become the first openly gay American athlete on an active roster in any major sport today, after signing a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets.
"The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision," Billy King, Nets GM, said in the 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."
And Collins is no stranger to the organization. The 35-year-old veteran NBA player spent his first six NBA seasons as a New Jersey Net. Heannounced his sexual orientation via an April 2013 cover story for Sports Illustrated.
"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation,” Collins said in the story. “I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I'm different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."
The Brooklyn Nets announced their acquisition of Collins via Twitter today. Collins has been a free agent since his announcement, while Nets’ top free agent choice Glen Davis reached a buyout agreement with the Orlando Magic on Friday (Feb. 21).
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) February 23, 2014
Collins is expected to play in the Nets’ matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers tonight (Feb. 23).