Washington Wizards away game basketball jersey worn by Jason Collins, 2013

Washington Wizards away game basketball jersey worn by Jason Collins, 2013

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Downloads
Description (Brief)
Jason Collins was an All-American basketball player his senior year at Stanford University and was drafted by the Houston Rockets as the 18th overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft. A powerful, 7-foot center, Collins was a defensive powerhouse, the most aggressive player on the team. He would later equate this need for physicality with the desire to keep the truth about his sexuality hidden. Not knowing how people would react in both his personal and professional life, Collins would play most of his professional basketball career without acknowledging he was gay. During the NBA lockout in 2011, Collins realized once his career was over he would need other options which is why he gradually let close relatives and friends know of his sexual orientation. He began hiding in plain sight with the choice of his jersey number, 98, an homage to college student Matthew Shepard who in 1998, was murdered for being gay. Collins said he “wanted to acknowledge this new identity that I was becoming more and more comfortable with. So, each time that I put on my jersey, whether it be a practice or a game, I was wearing jersey No. 98.” It wasn’t until April of 2013, that Collins became the first male athlete in any of the four major sports to announce he was gay. He became a free agent three months later and was picked up in February of 2014 by the Brooklyn Nets where Collins would finish his career having played 13 years in the NBA. Collins now serves as an NBA ambassador and is an involved gay rights activist. This away game jersey were donated by The Washington Wizards shortly after Collins made his historic announcement. While Collins will be celebrated for his successful basketball career he will be most remembered as a bringing much needed openness and change to the stereotypical team sport model.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
jersey, basketball
basketball jersey
date made
2012
user
Collins, Jason
maker
Adidas
Physical Description
fabric, polyester (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 40 in x 24 in; 101.6 cm x 60.96 cm
ID Number
2013.0138.02
accession number
2013.0138
catalog number
2013.0138.02
Credit Line
Gift of the Washington Wizards
subject
Basketball
Professional
Sports
Gay Rights
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Sport and Leisure
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Comments

Add a comment about this object