Weeks after becoming the first openly gay NFL-bound prospect, college football star Michael Sam has reacted to Jason Collins making history by joining the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.
Despite trying to impress NFL teams at the annual scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sam took a moment to applaud Collins on Twitter Sunday (February 23).
“Congratulations to my friend @jasoncollins34 – excited to see you do work out there #courage #groundbreaking,” Sam tweeted February 23. (Michael Sam’s Twitter)
According to reports, Collins will join his former team Sunday (February 23) night on a 10-day contract.
Collins will join the Nets for their game Sunday night in Los Angeles against the Lakers. The 35-year-old center revealed at the end of last season he is gay, but he was a free agent and had remained unsigned. With a need for another big man, the Nets turned to the 7-foot Collins, who helped them reach two NBA Finals in the early 2000s. (Mercury News)
A Nets executive has already confirmed the big news and explained the team’s motivation.
“The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision,” general manager Billy King said via a statement. “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.” (Statement)
A few weeks ago, Sam revealed his same-sex preference in a televised interview.
In interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports, Sam says he came out to his teammates and coaches at Missouri in August. Sam says: “I am an openly, proud gay man.” The 255-pound Sam participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., last month after leading the SEC in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (19), and he is projected to be a mid-round NFL draft pick. He says: “It’s a big deal. No one has done this before. And it’s kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be … I want to be a football player in the NFL.” (Los Angeles Times)
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