Jason Collins met with Matthew Shepard’s family

February 23, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Brooklyn Nets newly signed player Jason Collins speaks to media before playing against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Collins became the first openly gay male athlete to play in a major sports organization earlier this month in what marked a great moment for homosexual athletes and the progress that we have been hoping to see in the country.

Along with playing in the NBA, Collins has done plenty for gay rights and even wears the No. 98 as a tribute to Mathew Sheppard, who was murdered in Wyoming back in 1998 because of his sexuality.

The incident led to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act that was signed and passed in 2009.

After the Nets took on the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night, Collins took the time to meet with Sheppard’s family and present them with one of his jerseys in a great moment for everyone involved.

It is great to watch everything Collins has been doing for the LGBT community and hopefully his playing in the NBA will continue to expand the platform that he already has to help our nation as we continue to progress with acceptance of lifestyles that everyone may not understand.

After all, we are all human beings and sexual orientation should not impact how you are viewed by the public. Collins is helping us all take steps forward in understanding that.

Tags: Brooklyn Nets Jason Collins