Ten months after becoming the first openly gay NBA player, veteran Jason Collins signed a contract with the Brooklyn Nets, NBC News has confirmed.
Collins, who announced he was gay last April in Sports Illustrated, signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. Collins played with the Nets earlier in his career when the team was based in New Jersey.
A picture posted to the Brooklyn Nets Twitter account shows Collins singing a contract seated next to the team’s head coach Jason Kidd.
General Manager Billy King also announced Collins’ signing.
“The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision,” said King. “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.”
Collins essay in Sports Illustrated came while he was a free agent with the NBA.
“I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation,” he wrote in a now viral essay that largely received unanimous acclaim.
Collins’ signing comes at a moment where another high-profile athlete has announced he was gay: Former University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam came out during an interview with ESPN. Sam is hoping to make the NFL draft.