Jason Collins, the first openly gay active player in the history of North American professional sport, has revealed he has been the subject of homophobic taunts from an unnamed opposition player since making a return to the NBA.
Collins came out at the end of last season having already become a free agent after leaving the Washington Wizards, but was not invited to any training camps in his pursuit of a new deal. An offer was eventually forthcoming, however, with Collins joining the Brooklyn Nets in February.
The 35-year-old has been widely supported since he went public with his sexuality but, it would seem, there are still those are want to give Collins a hard time. Speaking to New York Daily News, Collins explained that he has already encountered gay taunts on the court.
Collins, though, is not ready to allow his feathers to be ruffled from any comments from NBA opponents, and claims he will remain professional at all times while representing the Nets.
“One player, one knucklehead from another team,” Collins said.
“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 initially signed for the Nets on only a 10 day contract, before this was extended for the same duration. He has since impressed enough following his time away from the game to be awarded a deal until he end of the season.