More grace: On his way to New York City, Jason Collins has been signed by the Brooklyn Nets and will be in uniform for tonight's game. America is changing!

According to ESPN, Jason Collins was signed today and is on his way to NYC for tonight's game.  Read this beautifully written article from ESPN:

At a recent Sunday morning service at his church in Los Angeles, Jason Collins swayed along with his fellow congregants to the gospel rock ballads being performed on stage. The church is a remarkably happy place, with a rustic chic design and Arcade Fire playing before the service out on the lawn, right near the coffee bar. It’s an urban believer’s paradise, and Collins appeared right at home. 

Collins was going on his 10th month of basketball unemployment. He didn't receive a training camp invite, and as opening night came and went, then the Jan. 10 date when rosters rid themselves of some guaranteed contracts, the reality began to set in that he might not suit up again in the NBA. 

The positive response of a handful of superstars and head coaches back in April, which seem like eons ago now, didn't change the fact that the league’s median opinion on Collins’ sexuality was still suspicious. Over the past decade, league executives have innovated many facets of their decision making, but they’re still conservative men at heart in their steadfast desire to maintain their careers. These days, few are really interested in being Walter O’Malley or Branch Rickey. 

From the exterior, this was a cruel event, but for Collins it was something else entirely. He took refuge in his workouts each morning, and maintained an in-season regimen of conditioning and nutrition. But far more than that, he built a life for himself. Coming out isn't just a personal proclamation. It’s the moment you start to sculpt an identity as a gay person. In many respects, it’s Year Zero -- and for Collins, Zero was shaping up as an awesome year. 

He met the world, established new friendships in different social communities around the country, and started dating. Barack and Michelle Obama reached out and pretty soon, Collins found himself at the State of the Union. From the White House to grassroots organizations, people were honoring Collins for his courage, and that's about as validating as an experience can get as a human being. 

Though watching the league from afar wasn’t without frustration, Collins was loving life. As the service ended and the worshipers filed to the exits, Collins greeted a slew of people. The support was clearly both humbling and energizing. Out on the street, Collins caught up with a few friends. He was off to Washington on Monday as a guest at a state dinner for French President Francois Hollande and needed to run some errands before the trip east. 

Collins will now board a plane with the Brooklyn Nets to join their drive toward the 2014 postseason. The opportunity comes 10 months after his last one, but the hiatus also unintentionally provided him time necessary to build confidence as an openly gay man, which should only help ease his transition back into life as a professional basketball player...For the full article

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