Jason Collins wasn’t naive to the possibility that he would be victim to verbal abuse when he became the NBA’s first openly gay player and according to him, that day on the court has already came.
The 13-year veteran of the league wouldn’t name the player but he alleges that one “knucklehead” tried to get under his skin with homosexual slurs.
He was tested once during his first month with the Brooklyn Nets, although the NBA’s first openly gay player understandably doesn’t want to give attention to the “knucklehead” or his comments.
After all, most everything else about his groundbreaking experience on the court and in the locker room has been positive. And Collins handled the negativity like he anticipated with a silent disregard.
“One player, one knucklehead from another team,” Collins said in an interview with the Daily News. “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.”
Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Nets on February 23 and has since been added to the roster full-time for the remainder of the season.
His decision to come out in April 2013 propelled him on a sweeping media press run and the move not only made him the first openly gay player in the NBA, but the first in any of North America’s four major sports leagues.