NBA’S first openly-gay basketball player Jason Collins has signed with the Brooklyn Nets for the remainder of the 2014 season.
“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,” he said.
“That’s how I conduct myself — just being professional… You can’t control what other people are going to do.”
With the Nets winning 10 out of their past 13 games, Collins stated recently to the New York Daily News’s Stefan Bondy that his coming out hadn’t distracted his team.
“This shows that ‘distraction’ is B.S. That it’s about the team, it’s about the sport,” he said.
“I hope this shows all players that you can still have your life off the court and not have to hide anything. And still have your life on the court or on the field or on the ice, I guess, in hockey. That’s a credit to my teammates and the entire Nets organization — from ownership to coaching to teammates to everyone.”
Collins also stated that he was aware of the impact that his coming out has had basketball fans worldwide.
“As an individual, as a person, as a human being, you have a lot of different hats that you wear,” he said.
“Whether you’re an athlete or a human being trying to empower and help others. I’m trying to, again, empower and help others any way that I can.”
The NBA will be donating part of the proceeds from the “unprecedented” level of sales of Collins’ jersey to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network and the Matthew Shepherd Foundation.