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Video: Jason Collins Becomes First Gay Pro Athlete

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Collins entered the Nets/Lakers game in the second quarter to a nice ovation from the away crowd.

Jason Collins became the first open gay athlete to play in one of the major American professional sports last night when he checked in during the second quarter for the Brooklyn Nets against the Los Angeles Lakers. Collins had not played in the NBA since last season, where he spent time with both the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards. After the season ended, Collins came out, but was not picked up before the start of the season.

The Nets signed Collins to a 10-day contract yesterday and wasted no time getting him in the game. Without any practice time, he was limited on the court, but he did play 11 minutes. During those minutes, Collins grabbed two boards, a steal, missed the only shot he took and used up five of his six fouls. He was a +8 for the team when he was on the court in a game the Nets ended up winning 108-102. I don't read too much into that stat, but it's a nice piece of narrative.

This is the kind of thing that's been said before, but this story shouldn't be a story. A player's sexuality shouldn't determine whether or not he plays. But the environment and culture that has been allowed to exist makes this a story, especially when you read accounts of closeted players like the Inside Sports feature Deadspin shared on former Dodgers player Glenn Burke. That is the era we want to leave behind, and hopefully Jason Collins got that started yesterday.

Video: Jason Collins Becomes First Gay Pro Athlete

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