Jason Collins No 98 Nets jersey the topseller on NBAcom - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Jason Collins' No. 98 Nets jersey the top-seller on NBA.com

  • More newsMore>>

  • Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

    Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 1:25 AM EDT2014-07-29 05:25:07 GMT
    More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.More >>
    More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.More >>
  • Teacher hit by train expected to make full recovery

    Teacher hit by train expected to make full recovery

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:53 AM EDT2014-07-29 04:53:08 GMT
    Officials at the Smiths Station Fire Department say the victim, later identified as Vivian Martin, was transported to Midtown Medical Center with what appeared to be non life-threatening injuries.More >>
    Multiple sources tell News Leader 9 that a Smiths Station teacher was hit by a train earlier today in Lee County.

    Officials at the Smiths Station Fire Department say the victim, later identified as Vivian Martin, was transported to Midtown Medical Center with what appeared to be non life-threatening injuries.
    More >>
  • Foul play not ruled out in fatal Wilcox County blaze

    Foul play not ruled out in fatal Wilcox Co. blaze

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:23 AM EDT2014-07-29 04:23:03 GMT
    Mable Davis could do nothing but watch as flames devoured the home across the street, where her sister, Patricia Nickelson had been staying with her long time boyfriend. He got out of the burning houseMore >>
    Multiple calls and email to the WSFA 12 Newsroom took our news crews to the town of Camden. Two recent deadly fires there have many in the community on edge. The families of the victims want answers.  Are the fires related?  Do authorities suspect arson? WSFA took their questions to county and state officials.
    More >>

Posted: 2014-02-25 19:49:57
Updated: 2014-02-25 20:59:47

By Kevin Dotson and Greg Botelho
CNN

(CNN) - Last week, Jason Collins wasn't even on an NBA team. In two weeks, he might not be on one.

But for now, Collins -- the first openly gay, active player in the United States' four big sports leagues -- is, by jersey sales, the NBA's most popular player.

NBA Senior Vice President Vicky Picca said Tuesday that Collins' No. 98 Brooklyn Nets uniform is the top-seller on NBA.com, besting the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin. The interest is coming from the fans Collins has earned since announcing last year, when he was still unemployed, that he was gay.

"Jason Collins' return to the league represents a historic moment, and fans continue to show their support by (buying) Jason's jersey," said Picca.

Not bad for a player who, just last week, inked a 10-day contract with the Nets. And the Stanford graduate hardly dominated in his lone game back on the court, going scoreless while compiling two rebounds and five personal fouls in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

In fact, Collins had never been a headline player. A journeyman with stops with New Jersey, Memphis, Minnesota, Atlanta, Boston and Washington, he's known more for his defensive prowess and rebounding than his offensive output, having averaged 3.6 points per game over his 12-year career.

The warm reception he received during and after that game from his teammates, competitors like Kobe Bryant and league officials reflects more on Collins' reputation as a player and person around the league, as well as his historic announcement.

"I know everyone in the NBA family is excited for him and proud that our league fosters an inclusive and respectful environment," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after Collins' signing last Sunday.

Whether Collins stays around remains to be seen. At age 35, he's not bringing fresh legs to Brooklyn. And the team has no obligation to keep him on the roster.

Still, whether or not he's a go-to player, Collins has very much become a symbol for the gay rights movement since disclosing his sexuality in an April column in Sports Illustrated magazine.

"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation," he wrote.

"I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different.' If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."

There's no escaping the symbolism in his jersey number: He chose 98 in honor of Matthew Shepard, the gay University of Wyoming student beaten to death in 1998.

The news that the Nets jersey was selling so well (despite the fact that Collins hasn't even worn it yet, having at first donned a No. 46 for the Lakers game) struck a chord online.

Some on Twitter praised the development, like one who wrote, "He's a piece of history, and this is really significant for a lot of people."

Many others, though, were less enthusiastic -- including some who used gay slurs and suggested Collins was profiting because he is gay. (In fact, NBA players don't get more or less money based on how many of their jerseys are sold.) Some questioned why Collins was being held out as an icon while, in their view, athletes who publicly profess their Christianity are criticized.

A few people questioned the jersey sales not because of Collins' sexuality, but because of what they considered his sub-par play.

"Jason Collins' jersey was actually a top-seller?" tweeted one. "Wow...I mean I'm glad he came out and all but #CmonMan."

Article on CNN.com

'CNN' © 2013 Cable News Network.Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Powered by WorldNow