Jason Collins made history on Sunday when he played with the Brooklyn Nets for the first time as he became the first ever openly gay player to play in North America's four major professional sports - NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL.
Collins, who signed a 10-day contract with the Nets, played 11 minutes in Brooklyn's 108-102 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, tallying two rebounds and made impact with hard screens to his teammates.
Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin said that Collins' historic feat is a big step towards major developments, not only in the NBA but also in all major sports.
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"I think it's definitely a big step," Lin said in an interview, ESPN reported. "The game is evolving. You see a lot of different people breaking barriers in a lot of different ways. This is just another one of those."
Lin added that he knows how difficult Collins' situation is now that he is now carrying the high hope of the gay community, similar to the pressure he handled when he started carrying the torch to represent Asian Americans in the NBA.
"It was definitely not easy," Lin stressed. "For me, if I didn't have faith, in terms of my Christianity, I'm not sure how I would have been able to handle it or understand it or process it. For me, I try to think of it as living or stewarding God's platform. That's kind of how I approached it."
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant also had nothing but praises for Collins, saying that his courageous act to reveal his real personality will have a great impact in all sports, greater than what people are thinking.
"His impact is greater than what people think," Bryant told Yahoo Sports. "You look at it from the context of having the first openly gay player. But they missed the domino effect that it has way beyond sports."
Aside from the impact on the sports and gay communities, Bryant said that Collins' act of braveness teaches the youth on how to be proud of themselves, adding that Collins' historic feat will motivate people from different walks of life.
"It's fantastic. It sets an incredible precedent," Bryant said. "I think the most important part about it, what I've learned on the issue is that one person coming out is showing this type of courage that gives others that same type of courage."
Collins, who is now playing in his 13th season in the NBA, is hoping that he would stay with the Nets for the remainder of the season.