Jason Collins Signs with Nets; Michael Sam Displays Class at NFL Scouting Combine

By Nick Delmacy | Posted Feb 24 2014 | 11 Comments  

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No surprise here, former free agent Jason Collins has finally signed with a new team for the first time since announcing to the world that he was gay. The Brooklyn Nets signed Collins to a 10-day contract that will likely be extended. Sunday evening, he suited up in a Nets uniform and played against the Lakers.

The New York Times Reports:

The signing represents a significant step toward transforming North American professional sports into a more welcoming environment for gay athletes. Until Sunday night, no N.B.A. game had taken place with an openly gay player on the floor. The N.F.L., Major League Baseball and the N.H.L. — the continent’s other three traditional major sports leagues — have never had a publicly gay participant.

The very act of Collins’s suiting up and stepping onto the court — he entered the game to warm applause in the second quarter — represented a milestone in the effort to change a sports culture that some feel has lagged far behind society at large in acceptance of gay people. Collins played 11 minutes in the Nets’ 108-102 victory, finishing with no points, two rebounds, a steal and five fouls.

Collins said he had little time to process it all. He awoke Sunday morning to text messages from his agent and Nets Coach Jason Kidd alerting him to the move, and hours later he was signing his contract. A few hours after that, he was taking his physical and preparing to play his first game since April 17.

“Right now, I’m focused on trying to learn the plays, the game plan assignment,” Collins, sitting at a lectern, said less than an hour before the game Sunday night. “I don’t have time to really think about history right now.”

I knew it would happen sooner or later, the league always need big men and at 35 years old, Collins has more time and game play left in him.

sam

This move comes right on the heels of college football player Michael Sam revealing that he is also gay, right before the upcoming NFL draft. He’s currently working out for recruiters and competing for a spot on a team at the NFL Scouting Combine. In his interview at the combine with reporters, Sam displayed a lot of class and professionalism. Its clear that he’s more concerned about earning a spot on a NFL team playing the game that he loves, than being a “trailblazer”.

About the Author
Nick Delmacy

Nick is a founder, editor and the pop culture expert at Cypher Avenue. Serving as the designer and webmaster of the site, he is the architect of The Cypher Avenue Matrix.

   
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11 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. hannibal
    Hannibal | February 24th, 2014
    0

    More excited about Sams since I feel Collins is more of a seat filler.

  2. 850famuman
    850famuman | February 24th, 2014
    +1

    H*A*P*P*Y!!!!
    tumblr_myr48gYbOP1rpc1rco1_250.gif

  3. scottywashere | February 24th, 2014
    +1

    Well congrats to Collins, but Sams is getting a bit irritating. The guy went from interview to interview to interview discussing his sexuality…but now he wants folks to “get past it”? Not realistic. Whether he likes it or not, he signed up to be a trailblazer when he made his announcement. If he truly didn’t want the media to focus on his personal life, then he shouldn’t have put his personal life in the media.

    • Joe | February 24th, 2014
      +1

      Actually Sam only did two interviews with NYTimes and ESPN on Feb 9th. He hasn’t done any other interviews for two weeks prior to combine. He answered all the questions he was asked at combine . So I am a little puzzled by people on various sites saying they are sick of him talking about it. Unlike Collins he didn’t show up on Oprah, Jimmy Kimmel,and multiple radio shows.

      • Nick Delmacy | February 24th, 2014
        +1

        Agreed. I think many people are annoyed by the media coverage of his coming out, which is something he has no control over. This is the same problem we had with Frank Ocean’s letter…our beef wasn’t about him, it was about how the media and fans reacted to it. They crown someone a “spokesperson” even if that’s not what they set out to do. Jason Collins, on the other hand, wants to be a spokesperson…which is why he went on Oprah, etc.

      • scottywashere | February 24th, 2014
        0

        Yeah but if you don’t want your sexuality to be a focal point, why schedule any interviews to discuss it at all? It’s like reality TV folks that publicize their private lives and then get feelings when their lives are being discussed in media. This is what you sign up for when you make your personal life public. So the “treat me like any other player” stuff is a bit melodramatic. He isn’t like any other player. It’s been years of speculation, controversy and even anticipation surrounding the first gay NFL player/hopeful, so it’s a bit silly to think the media wasn’t going to make a big deal of it. Making history is more than just pats on the back. You’re a spokesperson by default, like it or love it. To make this grand diva announcement and then think everyone’s just gonna fall back? C’mon now. I’d like to believe the brotha’s a little smarter than that. lol

        • LEE B | February 24th, 2014
          +1

          “Grand diva announcement?”…Really man?… gay folks always gotta feminize a dude. I will say that when he announced it I was feeling that he wanted to be some spokesperson as well. Then I heard him say he wanted to announce it so that no one else could out him but himself. After I saw a video of him dancing shirtless in a gay club online I realized why he did it. The thing is no matter how, or when he would have come out, the media was going to bombard him with questions. Eventually it will all die down to some degree. So why not get the difficult part of being made a ” gay spectacle” out the way now? I think the way he is doing it is a lot better than letting someone post a video of you dancing with men after you become a famous NFLer and being made an even bigger spectacle of. With that video floating out there it all would have come out at some point. By doing it this way, he has more control, and the media, as vicious as they can be, will see him in a more positive light.

          • scottywashere | February 26th, 2014
            0

            Don’t know (or care) about what gay folks always do but I do know that if you make a big deal of these things, other people will too. And yeah, the “Hey America, I’m gay” thing is very diva IMO. The only other people I know of that come out to society are debutantes (females), but that’s his prerogative. In his interviews he said folks around him have known for awhile. He also said he took some of his college teammates out to gay clubs, so I doubt he was afraid of being outed. Also, you don’t hire Howard Bragman–gay agenda PR god–to rep you and calculate all your gay announcements unless you want to be a spokesperson of some sort. Don’t take my word for it, just Google him.

  4. African King | February 24th, 2014
    +1

    All good news to me! The gays will be in high attendance at football and b-ball games now. All those that NEVER went will now go in hopes that they will have a chance to get with one of them LMAO.

  5. Rox808 | March 1st, 2014
    0

    Micheal Sam is going to be a great role model for this sport. He already is. hopefully this may prompt more athletes will come out and just accept themseleves. he is not the first gay athlete ever and he wont be the last. Go Sam!!

  6. BlkBeethoveen | May 14th, 2014
    0

    I’m so proud of these two guys. Great role models.




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