Jason Collins was greeted with raucous applause and cheers from the crowd at the Staples Center in Los Angeles as he became the first openly gay player to compete in an NBA game (and by extension the first openly gay athlete in any of the four main professional sports leagues) on Sunday night.
Earlier in the day, Collins officially signed with the Brooklyn Nets and he suited up as number 46 in tonight’s game against the Lakers.
Collins stepped on to the court at 10:28 in the second quarter as members of the crowd rose to their feet and gave him a standing ovation.
Earlier in the day, Nets general manager Billy King argued that Collins was signed purely out of his talent as a player.
“The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision,” King said. “We needed to increase our depth inside, and with his experience and size, we felt he was the right choice for a 10-day contract.”
Watch the historic moment below via YES Network: