Brooklyn, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The Brooklyn Nets are expected to sign center Jason Collins to a 10-day contract, making him the first openly gay active player in North America’s four recognized major team sports, a source said.
The Nets signed Collins came after their first target, Glen Davis, joined the Los Angeles Clippers.
The 35-year-old Collins will be in uniform for the Nets against the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday. The Nets moved quickly to sign Collins to have another big body available against the Lakers.
Davis, set to officially become an unrestricted free agent Sunday at 5 p.m. ET, already informed teams of his decision to join the Clippers.
Collins, already in Los Angeles where he had been working out, will meet with the Nets Sunday before he is expected to sign the 10-day deal, according to multiple sources.
The Nets quietly auditioned Collins last week in Los Angeles, paving the way toward this historic signing. Collins hasn’t played in an NBA game since April 2013 with the Washington Wizards.
Collins has been working out on his own for months in the L.A. area after failing to earn an invite to training camp from any of the league’s 30 teams after revealing his sexuality some 10 months ago.
Athlete Ally, a non-profit group that works closely with the NBA and other professional sports leagues on LGBT inclusion, applauded the Nets’ decision.
“Today, Jason Collins tore open the last remaining closet in America, and became the first openly gay player to be signed by a team in one of the big four sports. We are especially excited that Jason will be playing in Brooklyn, just like Jackie Robinson, and in a marriage equality state. This is a piece of history, an important point on the continuum toward justice and a moment to celebrate,” Brian Ellner, a member of the Athlete Ally board of directors said in a statement.