Jason Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, clearing the way for the first openly gay athlete in major professional sports history. The story was first reported by Yahoo Sports.
Collins will be available to play on Sunday when the Nets meet the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center.
"Jason told us that his goal was to earn another contract with an NBA team. [Sunday], I want to commend him on achieving his goal," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in an issued statement. "I know everyone in the NBA family is excited for him and proud that our league fosters an inclusive and respectful environment."
After Glen "Big Baby" Davis decided to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, the Nets moved onto Plan B – bringing Collins back into the NBA, sources told Yahoo Sports.
After agreeing to a buyout with the Orlando Magic, Davis is expected to clear waivers at 5 p.m. on Sunday and will sign a deal for the rest of the season with his former Celtics coach, Doc Rivers, and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Collins revealed his sexuality in the spring, and had gone throughout the NBA preseason and regular season without a job offer. Once the Nets missed out on free agent Davis on Sunday, they moved to complete the process of signing Collins as a backup big man.
“With Jason Collins signing with the Nets [Sunday], I [believe] our world as professional athletes will open up and become less ignorant of gay male [athletes] playing and more accepting and embracing of the whole situation," Athlete Ally Ambassador and standout Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried said through an issue statement Sunday.
Collins, 35, has been out of the NBA since completing the 2012-'13 season with the Washington Wizards.
Collins played parts of seven years with the Nets between 2001-08, and his ex-teammate, Jason Kidd, now the Nets coach, has been advocate of signing him. Collins played with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce with the Boston Celtics.
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