Saturday, December 02, 2017

Happy Birthday to Out NBA Star Jason Collins

Jason Collins was born today, December 2, in 1978.  He was a LGBTQ pioneer in that he was the first active professional basketball player who came out as gay, and the first gay athlete to play in any of the four major North American pro sports leagues (Basketball, Football, Baseball, and Hockey).  

Collins played 13 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for Stanford University, where he was an All-American in 2000–01, before being drafted 18th overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets. He went on to play for the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets. 

After the 2012–13 NBA season concluded, Collins publicly came out as gay. He came out in
 the cover story of the May 6, 2013, issue of Sports Illustrated, a first person story by Collins with journalist Franz Lidz, which was posted on the magazine's website on April 29, 2013. He wrote that he wished to maintain his privacy in regard to specific details of his personal life, and that he is not in a relationship.

Collins wore jersey number 46 in his first game, the only number the team had available, but planned to wear No. 98—the same he wore with Boston and Washington—going forward. Collins chose to wear No. 98 in honor of Matthew Shepard whose 1998 murder was widely reported as a hate crime. Collins' jersey rose to the top spot for sales at, and the NBA announced that proceeds from the sales, as well as proceeds from auctions of Collins' autographed game-worn jerseys, will benefit two LGBT supporting charities, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

On November 19, 2014, Collins announced his retirement from professional basketball after 13 seasons in the NBA.

It was also reported in 2014 that Collins was in a relationship with film producer Brunson Green.

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