It’s been a very crazy week so far for Jason Collins. After going all season without an NBA team, Collins joined the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday via a 10-day contract. But this 10-day contract was no ordinary contract. It just so happened to be the first contract for an openly gay player in the history of American professional sports.
Collins of course came out following the conclusion of last season, but he didn’t technically make history until he entered the Nets game on Sunday night.
During that game, Collins wore No. 46. It wasn’t his first choice, but because of the time crunch, that was the only jersey available to him. But now as the Nets are preparing for their game on Wednesday night, the NBA is preparing itself for massive sales on No. 98 jerseys.
According to a report from the NY Times, the NBA is receiving an ‘unprecedented’ amount inquires from fans wanting to buy something with Collins’ name on it. He will officially wear the No. 98 jersey and there’s a good reason for that. Collins wears that number to honor the memory of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was murdered back in 1998.
It’s really cool to see people taking such a interest in Collins and it’s even cooler to see the massive support he’s received. Few of us will ever understand the courage it took for him to come out in front of the world.
It will be interesting to see just how well Collins’ jersey sells over the long haul.