Jason Collins, first openly gay athlete to play in NBA, makes U.S. sports history

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On February 23, 2014, Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins becomes the first openly gay athlete to play in a game in the United States’ four major professional leagues. The 35-year-old journeyman plays 10 scoreless minutes, recording two rebounds and five fouls in the Nets’ 108-102 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

In May 2013, Collins came out in a first-person essay in Sports Illustrated. “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m Black. And I’m gay,” he wrote. “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.”



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