After signing a 10-day contract to play for the Brooklyn Nets, Jason Collins (wearing the No. 98 jersey) became the first openly gay player in U.S. major sport. His first game for the Nets was a 108-102 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Collins played in another win on Thursday, as the Nets won at the Denver Nuggets.
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No. 98 —
Collins' No. 98 shirt has been the best-selling jersey in the NBA since his return to the league. The number is a tribute to Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming who was beaten to death in 1998. Shepard's parents, mother Judy pictured here, traveled to Denver to meet with Collins.
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High profile —
Since coming out in April 2013, Collins' profile has risen dramatically. The pinnacle of his new-found fame came in January, when he was a guest of Michelle Obama for the State of the Union address.
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Seasoned campaigner —
Collins made his NBA debut for the New Jersey Nets in 2001, spending seven seasons with the team. He has since played for six other NBA franchises.
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Relying on Rogers —
Footballer Robbie Rogers has experienced similar media attention since coming out in February 2013. After announcing his homosexuality, Collins sought the advice of Major League Soccer star Rogers on how to handle his new-found fame.
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History beckons for Sam —
Collins and Rogers are part of an increasing group of openly gay U.S. athletes. Football prospect Michael Sam told the world about his sexuality after he had finished his college career. If he is drafted by an NFL franchise, he'll become the first openly gay player in the league's history.