Now that his second 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets is nearing an end, ESPN reports that the Nets will sign out athlete Jason Collins for the remainder of the season this Saturday.
Sources confirming the news say “the internal expectation all along was that Collins would be a Net for the rest of the season, from the moment he signed his first 10-day deal, as long he proved that he could still be an effective defender, which he did immediately.”
After he’s likely signed, Collins will mark another historic first not just as the first openly gay player to play in one of North America’s four major sports leagues, but as the first openly gay player to play as a permanent team member in any of the leagues.
Collins will be sporting #98 throughout the season in honor of Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in a 1998 hate crime that went on to inspire federal laws providing LGBTs with added protection from hate crimes. In May, Matthew’s mother Judy said “for Jason to acknowledge Matt’s story and for him to come out at all at this time in his career and his life is really pretty amazing.”
An official announcement is expected once Collins’ second 10-day contract expires this Friday.