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Jason Collins Signs With Brooklyn Nets, Plays As NBA’s First Openly Gay Player

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Jason Collins made history on Sunday night as the first openly gay athlete in North America’s four major professional sports.

Collins, who has been a free agent since 2013, signed a ten day contract with the Brooklyn Nets and played with the team on Sunday night as they took on the Los Angeles Lakers. According to reports, the Staples Center erupted in applause as the 35-year-old center made his way onto the court.

“Sometimes in life something happens and there’s an opportunity,” he said before the game. “I’m very thankful for this opportunity. That’s why I work so hard, why I train the way I do so that when I do have an opportunity physically I’m not worried about my conditioning or cardio or anything along those lines.”

A number of fans supported Collins on Sunday night, including Michael Sam and Robbie Rogers. Robbie Rogers, a midfielder for the Los Angeles Galaxy, made his Major League Soccer debut in May 2013 just three months coming out and NFL prospect, Michael Sam announced he is gay a few weeks ago.

“Congratulations to my friend @jasoncollins34- excited to see you do work out there #courage #groundbreaking,” Collins wrote.

“Very excited to watch @jasoncollins34 tonight more importantly I am proud to call him my friend,” Rogers posted on Twitter. He later wrote, “For those that think there is no place for gay men & women in sports. Remember… A gay dude invented the high five.”

In April 2013, Collins opened up about his sexuality in an issue of Sports Illustrated. “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”

“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 explained. “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.”

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EXCLUSIVES

Watch: Julia Roberts And Owen Wilson Give Advice To Their 10-Year-Old Selves

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To say Wonder is a must see movie is an understatement! Not only will the film touch you and inspire you to be a better person, it will also entertain you from start to finish.

But don’t take our word for it. HipHollywood sat down with the film’s stars Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson who shared their excitement to bring this heartwarming story to life and how they channeled their real-life parenting skills into the role.

“I think we felt a responsibility to be authentically parents and authentically parents to these two kids, said the 50 year old mother of three. “And I think that’s why you really believe these four people are family and are really having this experience together.”

In the film based on the NY times best seller, Roberts and Wilson play the parents of a teenage daughter (Izabela Vidovic) and 10-year-old boy (Jacob Tremblay) with facial differences entering mainstream elementary school for the first time.

When asked if they had any advice for their ten year old selves, Roberts said: “I have a ten year old son and I tell him to run.”

Meanwhile Wilson says he remembers 5th grade vividly, and enjoyed having his brother Andrew Wilson at the same school to protect him. “It helped so much having an older brother who was already at the school, so that would be the advice I’d give, have a cool older brother.”

Wonder hits theaters November 17, just one day before Wilson’s 49th birthday. 

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