The first openly-gay player to come out in a major US team sport and continue playing has said that he has already received “gay taunts” from a player on an opposing team.
Collins, who came out as gay last April, signed a 10-day deal late last month with the Brooklyn Nets, becoming the first active, openly-gay player in one of the four major league professional sports in the US. He has since signed with the team for the remainder of the season.
Jason Collins of the NBA, who recently signed until the season end with the Brooklyn Nets, said he received the taunts whilst playing.
Speaking to the New York Daily News, he said: “One player, one knucklehead from another team. He’s a knucklehead. So I just let it go. Again, that goes back to controlling what you can control. That’s how I conduct myself just being professional.”
He declined to name the player, or the team.
In an April 2013 interview with Sports Illustrated, Collins came out, saying: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”
Following his decision to wear the number 98 shirt for his new team in commemoration of murdered gay teenager Matthew Shepard, the item soared to the top of online sales on the NBA’s online store earlier this month.