First Openly Gay Player In Major League Sports, NBA Player & Equality Advocate
Jason Collins, the first openly gay National Basketball Association “NBA” player, recently was in a Sports Illustrated cover story, Collins became the first active male player in any of the four major American professional sports to announce that he is gay. He later signed a contract to finish the 2013-14 season with the Brooklyn Nets.…
Jason Collins, the first openly gay National Basketball Association “NBA” player, recently was in a Sports Illustrated cover story, Collins became the first active male player in any of the four major American professional sports to announce that he is gay. He later signed a contract to finish the 2013-14 season with the Brooklyn Nets.
He played 13 years in the NBA after being drafted the 18th overall player in the 2001 league draft by the Houston Rockets. He went on to play for the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards. During his professional career, Collins’ teams earned 10 trips to the playoffs, including two NBA Finals appearances.
During his final season with the Nets, Collins wore No. 98 to honor UW student Matthew Shepard, who was killed in 1998. His No. 98 uniform became the best-selling jersey in the league last year. Collins said his most poignant moment came during his third game back last season, when he met Shepard’s family in Denver when his Nets played the Nuggets.
“Playing 13 years in the league, people will slap different labels on you,” Collins said when he announced his retirement last November. “First and foremost, I always want my legacy to be known as a great teammate, someone who always sacrificed for the team.”
At Stanford, Collins was an All-American in the 2000-01 season. He also was named to the Pac-10 first team and awarded the National Association of Basketball Coaches Pete Newell “Big Man of the Year” Award. He was ranked first in Stanford history for field goal percentage and third in blocked shots.
After the 2012-13 NBA season, President Barack Obama expressed his gratitude to Collins for his courageous announcement and said he “couldn’t be prouder.”
Since his retirement, Collins has traveled the country with the mission of “empowering people to live as their true selves.”
In 2013, GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, honored Collins with the Courage Award, and, last year, Logo TV honored Collins with its inaugural Trailblazer Award. He also is the face of Nike’s “Be True” sportswear line and Marriott’s global #LoveTravels campaign. Last April, Collins was featured on the cover of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
He serves on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, which works to motivate Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle through physical activity and nutrition.
Collins lives in Los Angeles.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
A Conversation With Jason Collins
Empowering People To Live As Their True Selves
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Chicago House Speaker Series
Jason Collins Speaker - PDA Speakers
1 HOUR OR LESS