The Brooklyn Nets signed Jason Collins on a 10-day contract to help them handle their big-man crisis, and by playing have made him the first openly gay player in America’s four major sports, although the sensation of it was mostly used last year when he announced it.
Still, Collins playing was a pretty big deal, and he grabbed most of the attention at the Staples Center when the Nets played the Lakers and won. He didn’t play much: Only 11 minutes, and didn’t score any points. However, he was good enough and noticeable enough to become news once again, and getting plenty of positive reactions from around the league.
Mark Cuban actually broke the mold of applause and approval. He wasn’t against it – he was simply against making a big deal of it, which might just be the biggest endorsment of Collins simply being a worthy NBA player, not a gay man in the NBA.
I think it’s no big deal and that’s exactly the way it should be. He’s been playing in the league forever. The guy’s known. As long as they get their ass kicked in the playoffs, that’s all I care about. At some point it becomes something to talk about, and now there’s nothing to talk about. Moving on. That’s just the way it works. It was a big deal until it isn’t, and now it’s not. Next. Nothing more to talk about. I mean, I don’t give a f@#% about a guy’s sexuality. Period, end of story.
Others weren’t as blunt, and simply said they’re happy for Collins. From Michael Sam, who didn’t have the most impressive combine workouts, to Pau Gasol, who played against Collins in the Lakers – Nets game.
— Michael Sam (@MikeSamFootball) February 23, 2014
Very excited to watch @jasoncollins34 tonight more importantly I am proud to call him my friend.
— Robbie Rogers (@robbierogers) February 23, 2014
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) February 24, 2014