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


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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