Jason Collins marked another historical first last night as the first out athlete in major league sports. During the final minutes of a Brooklyn Nets home game, he entered the court for the first time on his home turf and received a standing ovation.
Last week, he became the first out athlete to ever play in a major league American sport after signing a 10-day contract with the Nets. We previously reported:
The Nets, who signed him earlier in the day, did all the right things, making sure the world knew that Collins had been hired exclusively for his ability to help the team and that no one would be allowed to make life difficult for the 35-year-old center, a well regarded veteran of the league.
“The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision,” Nets general manager Billy King said. “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.”
“I’m sort of getting used to this,” Collins told the Times last night at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center. “No one has said anything negative — it’s been all supportive from everyone.”
The Times also reports that “a person in basketball with knowledge” has also confirmed Collins will be given a second 10-day contract this week, “and it would be more than mildly surprising if he did not end up with a deal for the rest of the season.”
Way to go, Jason!