Posted February 24, 2014

Commissioner Adam Silver congratulates Jason Collins on signing with Nets

NBA
Jason Collins was drafted by the New Jersey nets in the 2001 NBA Draft. (Steven Freeman/National Basketball/Getty Images)

Jason Collins was drafted by the Houston Rockets in the 2001 NBA Draft. (Steven Freeman/NBAE/Getty Images)

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has released a statement congratulating Jason Collins on his signing with the Brooklyn Nets.

“Jason told us that his goal was to earn another contract with an NBA team. Today, I want to commend him on achieving his goal. I know everyone in the NBA family is excited for him and proud that our league fosters an inclusive and respectful environment.”

Collins signed a ten-day contract with the Nets on Sunday, making him the first openly gay player in any of the four major U.S. sports, after coming out to Sports Illustrated last year.

DOLLINGER: Report: Jason Collins to sign with Nets, become NBA’s first openly gay athlete

Nets general manager Billy King said the decision was basketball related, and that the team “needed to increase our depth inside.”


19 comments
help4mac1
help4mac1

thanks for curing my insomnia.

rickwpu
rickwpu

i dont have anything against gay people, i played pro sports and it has to be difficult in the showers for everybody . specially if you don't know the guy!!i

Mark112
Mark112

Gay or straight, Collins is a scrub on the basketball court. He'll fit in perfectly with the Nets.



Frank14
Frank14

back slapping will stop first time somebody catches a disease from this guy.

pickle
pickle

Good for Jason Collins. The media is making a little more out of all this than I think is necessary however. He is an aged player who will be in a backup role, and I really hope we don't start seeing stories about him not getting enough playing time. Because he is certain to not get much playing time, which has absolutely nothing to do with him being gay.

jazynaz
jazynaz

so i don't understand, does every NBA veteran who signs mid-season get a message from adam silver?  i don't understand why this particular signing warrants a special statement.  as a gay person,  i am sorry to think that the only reason could be because collins is gay.  otherwise, every veteran would get an "atta boy" for being picked up mid-season.  these players just want to be pro athletes with a new job, nothing more...just like everybody else,  because they are worthy of that job.  being gay hasn't made any of these athletes who they are as pros.  give them the credit they deserve as special athletes who worked hard to get where they are, and for what they've achieved.  no more, no less than all the other deserving athletes we watch and admire in all sports, any day of the week.  play on!

NCB
NCB

@Frank14 time to crawl out from under that rock, Frank...

biasedsportsfan
biasedsportsfan

Wow, either you're a good troll or a bad intellectual

3M_TA3
3M_TA3

@Frank14  Catch a disease? You didn't graduate high school, did you?

rh2000
rh2000

@jazynaz  Agree! 


I don't give a rats azz who he sleeps with just STFU about it and play ball.  Tired of all the B.S. going on about it.

biasedsportsfan
biasedsportsfan

@jazynaz I understand what you're saying and know where you're coming from, except that I'm straight. but as a Historian, from the perspective of precedence, this is breaking ground. Have gay players played in the NBA? Of course. They do now, surely. But we are at a particular time historically where the consciousness of mainstream U.S. society has shifted to the point where a 'man's sport' has an openly gay player. Is he any less of a man because he is gay? Of course not. Should he truly be singled out because of it? Absolutely not. 

However, the popular/public/social interpretation has historically said otherwise. This is a turning point, in the sense that we don't need rumors to suggest that gay players are in this sport. (Even if, as previously noted, they obviously have been and continue to be with or without Collins.) Should he stand or fall based upon his own merits and deficiencies? Sure. But while I sympathize with your notion of how the press is grandstanding and putting him on a platform like some kind of bizarre attraction, and while I surely believe he wouldn't want to be on a team or on TV just because he's gay, he's gay and no one can pretend he isn't and he's on an NBA team. There's a guy *everyone* knows is gay on an NBA team. For once, for the first time in U.S. sports, you know - *for sure* - it doesn't matter whether this guy is gay or not, he's good enough to be on an NBA roster. 

I don't want to suggest this is more than it is, because I truly do understand and agree with your point, but we don't live in a world where it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter to you whether he's gay, it doesn't matter to me whether he's gay, but it does matter to a lot of people. Some of those people are people that decide who are and aren't on NBA rosters. And now every person has to (begrudgingly or not) accept that simply being gay did not preclude Jason Collins from being good enough to play in the NBA. Even after he's open with his sexuality, and as diminished as he is athletically at this point in his career. Even if he warms the bench, he's there on that team and no one can pretend the fact that he's gay made him less able to play a 'man's sport' professionally. 


So to your point, I agree completely, but a lot of people don't. You and I have spent our lives not letting the idea of whether someone's gay or straight or queer or asexual or whatever  interfere with our thought processes of evaluating them as human beings. But I think that, historically, while the press is exploitative and sensationalist as always, it *is* a big deal, and it *is* newsworthy, because all those people who let themselves discriminate against others for arbitrary reasons have one less stupid notion to fill their heads. Sadly, that counts for a big deal these days when it comes to civil rights for all people.

Bigtruth
Bigtruth

@jazynaz I suspect Adam Silver won't be making a statement for every mid-season replacement.  But I'm guessing you already know that.  But he should make a statement when the first openly Gay player is about to sign with a team.

nfinitwordsfoto
nfinitwordsfoto

@jazynaz   The first in something is always worthy of attention and makes noise.  Just like Jackie Robinson did as the first black baseball player in the Major Leagues.  It's a breakthrough which eventually will not matter just as nobody really cares when a black athlete makes the majors anymore.  


mystafugee
mystafugee

@Bigtruth @jazynaz  Stephen A. Smith said that on ESPN.  My reaction: "wow, he gets pad 6 figures to say stuff like that?!?"