Jason Collins makes history after signing with the Brooklyn Nets

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Jason Collins has become the first openly gay active player in any of America's four major sports leagues by signing a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

35-year-old Collins, a 12-year NBA veteran who graduated Stanford University in 2001, made the brave decision to go public with his sexuality back in April 2013 during his time with the Washington Wizards.

Having become a free agent at the end of last season, Collins had been without a team since but joins Jason Kidd's Nets as they seek to ease the pressure on Kevin Garnett - the man who has been anchoring the defense in the absence of the injured Brook Lopez.

"I know that I can play in the NBA and it felt good to be out there tonight," Collins said in a press release sent to GiveMeSport after he made his first appearance during the 108-102 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Sunday night.

"The pressure is playing in an NBA game tonight and last time I played in an NBA game was last April. So I think that's enough pressure right there," he added.

Collins' return to the league is obviously a major step forward for sport in general and new NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who replaced David Stern in early February, was evidently excited by the development.

"Jason told us that his goal was to earn another contract with an NBA team. Today, I want to commend him on achieving his goal. I know everyone in the NBA family is excited for him and proud that our league fosters an inclusive and respectful environment," he said in the press release sent to GiveMeSport.

Collins, who spent the first seven years of his professional career with the Nets during their days in New Jersey and helped the team to back-to-back NBA finals, played 11 minutes on Sunday night and had two rebounds and five fouls.

The Nets endures a dismal start to the season after bringing the likes of Paul Pierce and Garnett to Barclays Center, but their form has considerably picked up since the turn of the year and they now occupy sixth place in the Eastern Conference and look poised to boost their record above .500.

Eastern Conference
Jason Collins
New Jersey Nets

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