Jason Collins Signed as First Openly Gay Player in NBA, Big Four U.S. Sports

Came out last year while unsigned


The Brooklyn Nets signed Jason Collins to a 10-day contract, making Collins the first openly gay NBA player, and the first openly gay player in any of the big four U.S. sports. Collins came out last year while not signed with any team. Likely NFL draft pick Michael Sam, meanwhile, announced he was gay earlier this year, and will be the first openly gay player in the NFL if he's drafted as expected. As Scott Shackford wrote at the time:

That the media is making such a big deal out of Sam may seem a little strange, particularly to those who are and have always been down with the gay folks. It's helpful to consider the idea that we're writing the last chapter in a very lengthy book of American history. The advancement and acceptance of an openly gay male pro athlete (sorry pioneering ladies – we know you were first) is the final stage of cultural acceptance of gay people living openly and happily without having to hide who they are. The Onion, in their usual fashion, made a joke out of it in August that's funny but insightful: "Area Teen Quickly Running Out Of Chances To Be First Openly Gay Anything." Also read Shackford on why 2013 was America's gayest year.

Meanwhile in Uganda, the president of that country signed a controversial bill into law that imposes harsher penalties for homosexuality, already illegal there.

NEXT: Steve Chapman on Solitary Confinement and Its Costs

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  1. Why exactly does anyone give a shit about a professional athletes sexual preferences? I don’t know anyone that watches any pro sports game to say “oh look there’s the gay boy”. What’s next? Publishing an athletes favorite sexual position?

  2. I think it’s just that people are excited about (or at least want to publicize) better civil rights. What’s annoying is this is old news, there has already been gay professional athletes. they just use the “big 4” title to try to make it seem new, and publish another story.

    As a soccer player it’s also kind of insulting. Guess which sport is played the most in this country? Here’s a hint, it’s none of the “big 4”. The big 4 is an outdated notion mostly perpetuated by baby boomers who can’t bring themselves to understand a different sport. What a shitty generation. I’ll control myself and refrain from saying what I really want to.

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