Basketball star Jason Collins came out to the public as gay in April 2013 and became the first male, active, professional athlete to do so. Still, as Jason did not have a contract at the time, he had never played on a team since coming out—until last night.
Under a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets, Jason stepped onto the court part way through the second quarter and received applause and even a standing ovation from various audience members. You can watch the moment he made history here:
The Brooklyn Nets were victorious over the LA Lakers, ending the game at 108-102. After ten days, the Nets will decide whether or not they will keep Jason as a more permanent teammate. Though last night he wore a jersey that read "46," he will resume wearing "98," in honor of Matthew Shepard, who tragically died as the result of a brutal hate crime in 1998.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) February 23, 2014
Jason's had a wild ride in recent months. Since coming out, Jason has worked to raise awareness for the LGBT community, such as by taking on the role of 2013 Spirit Day ambassador to support LGBT youth. Last month, he had the honor of attending the State of the Union Address, by invitation of First Lady Michelle Obama. To celebrate his most recent major accomplishment with the Nets, GLAAD released a timeline celebrating LGBT athletes throughout history whose visibility in the athletic arena has furthered equality.
GLAAD congratulates Jason on becoming the first gay, active male teammate to play in America!