Sep 27, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; NBA player Jason Collins and former Los Angeles Dodgers Billy Bean celebrate after throwing out the first pitch at the first annual LGBT Night Out at Dodger Stadium prior to the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Media attention is preventing Jason Collins from landing on an NBA roster


Jason Collins announced that he is gay via Sports Illustrated, and he has become the first athlete in the 4 major US sports to do so. So, the 12 year veteran still wants to play in the NBA, but he has yet to find a job. So is it because of his sexuality? According to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, maybe it does:

Several GMs said the aversion to Collins isn’t over concern about how his sexuality will play in the locker room, but over the relentless media attention it will generate. “If it were just an initial blast and you knew it would settle down after that, it would be one thing,” said one executive. “But you know this is something that he and his teammates are going to be asked about everywhere they go, all season long, and all it takes is one guy to say something a little off and it could really blow up. He’s still good enough to play in the league, but when you throw in the ongoing media frenzy, most teams are going to decide it’s just not worth it.”

I would take this with a grain of salt. The main reason for Collins being unsigned has more to do with the fact that he is an older player who won’t give you much on the court. If Collins was much younger, then you could definitely see more interest in him. Bucher’s sources have come in to question in the past, so be cautious with what you read. Zach Lowe seems to think he will be signed, but later in the year:

Early January brings 10-day contracts and the drop-dead date (January 10) after which all partially guaranteed contracts become fully guaranteed for the season. Teams will cut players ahead of January 10 for some cap savings, opening up roster spots and generating some churn. A bunch of team executives have earmarked this period as the time at which one team will sign Collins for his veteran leadership, screening, and post defense — and to make sure Collins’s brave statement gets its due attention.

I would trust Lowe’s reporting. Collins being signed would be a great story, but I’m sure he would rather be signed for his play rather than a public statement. There was a high chance that Collins would be unsigned if he hadn’t come out.

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