NBA center Jason Collins will be the first openly gay active athlete in the four major American professional sports when the Brooklyn Nets reportedly sign him to a 10-day contract today, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.
Collins came out to Sports Illustrated last April while he was a free agent. Unlike John Amaechi, who came out in 2007 after retiring, the 34-year-old Collins wanted to continue his basketball career. And now he'll get that chance with the Nets.
From a game perspective, Collins wouldn't be Brooklyn's starting center, though the Nets desperately need big men depth with Brook Lopez missing the rest of the season after a foot injury. Collins could realistically poach some minutes from the bench with his only competition being Andray Blatche and Mirza Teletovic. But the larger story, of course, is Collins breaking a significant barrier in American professional sports.
The Nets play the Lakers in Los Angeles tonight at 9 p.m.