NBA To Auction Off Autographed Jason Collins Brooklyn Nets Jerseys
NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today that beginning April 4 through April 22, fans can bid on jerseys worn by Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins. Three autographed jerseys – two of which are game-worn – will be available on auctions.nba.com beginning at 12 p.m. EST on Friday. Since Jason Collins signed his first 10-day contract with the Nets on Feb. 23, all proceeds from the sales of his No. 98 jerseys have benefitted the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Matthew Shepard Foundation. All sales from the auctioned jerseys will also be donated to these organizations.
Each jersey is authenticated by the NBA and MeiGray Game-Worn Authentication Program. MeiGray Group, the official game-worn partner of the NBA, offers collectors the highest standards of authenticity, integrity, and reliability for all game-used items.
Collins became the first openly gay, active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports on Feb. 23, after signing with his original team, the Nets. Since he was added to the roster, Collins’ jersey spent three weeks in the No. 1 spot on the top-selling jersey list at NBAStore.com. Collins wears the number “98” in honor of Matthew Shepard, a college student who was murdered in 1998 after being targeted for being openly gay.
The NBA has a long history of supporting the LGBT community including partnerships with GLSEN, GLAAD and Athlete Ally and was the recipient of the 2012 Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion Award at the GLSEN Respect Awards. In addition, Jason Collins received the 2013 Courage Award at the 10th annual GLSEN Respect Awards and Denver Nuggets star Kenneth Faried was awarded the 2012 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, in part because of his relationship with Athlete Ally.