Jason Collins is about to become the first admitted homosexual athlete to play one of the four major professional sports in America after inside sources revealed that the NBA’s New Jersey Nets want to sign him to a 10-day contract.
The Nets (25-27) are in playoff contention as they sit three games behind Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors entering Thursday’s play and are one game into a five-game Western Conference swing. The Nets’ front office did not make a move before Thursday’s trading deadline and are in need of an additional big body that the 7-foot Collins would provide.
One scenario under consideration, Nets sources divulged under the condition of anonymity, is making Collins their 10-day roster addition during the trip.
The scenario would be a natural fit because this would be Collins’ reunion with the franchise. He played with the Nets during his first six-plus seasons in the league.
To be sure, Collins would not be the first gay male, per say, to play any American sport. Robbie Rogers of the L.A. Galaxy became the first when he made his Major League Soccer debut in May 2013. But soccer has never come close to being considered a major professional sport inside the United States.
The University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, of course, made international headlines when announced he is gay earlier this month in an ESPN “Outside The Lines” interview. But Sam can’t make his official NFL debut until the fall — if he gets drafted at all. Some anonymous general managers and pundits predict that no NFL team will pick Sam up in the draft in May.
Stay tuned for further updates.