He's 35, he only has a 10-day contract and it looks like he might be near the end of his career, but Jason Collins apparently has the NBA's top-selling jersey.
And the jersey with the second-highest sales. And the fourth.
The sales appear to confirm a long-held belief that the first openly gay athletes in major American sports would be marketing gold for the teams and leagues to sign them. NFL franchises debating whether to draft Michael Sam: Take note.
That said, Collins' sales success (for the NBA anyway; the veteran center isn't getting a cut of the profits) hasn't necessarily helped the Nets on the court. Brooklyn suffered a 124-80 defeat Wednesday night, with Collins getting about seven minutes of court time.
Still, the jersey is pretty neat. Like he did with the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards, Collins is donning No. 98 to honor Matthew Shepard, the gay student murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in 1998. That Collins now wears the number as an openly gay athlete makes the jersey feel like an important slice of LGBT history.
And for $70 (plus shipping and handling), it can be your slice of LGBT history, too.
Dribbling onto other news:
- The Olympics are over in Russia, but anti-LGBT sentiment in the country is not (duh). One clear example: The Russian Open Games, an LGBT sporting event in Moscow, lost multiple venues at the last minute due to government pressure, according to BuzzFeed.
(If you're wondering why the international rights groups might have failed to help improve the lives of LGBT Russians, Masha Gessen at Slate has a pretty strong indictment of tactics used during the Olympics.)
- In the wake of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's decision to veto a law that would have allowed business owners to deny service to LGBT individuals, Ohio lawmakers withdrew similar legislation.
- A new study from the Williams Institute found that LGBT adults are more likely to participate in food stamp programs and are 1.7 more likely to not have enough money to feed themselves or their families than non-LGBT individuals.
- One Texas state senator was so upset by a court case declaring Texas' same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional that he accidentally tweeted his support for man-man marriages. Oops?
- HBO's Looking — which I've been recapping for our sister blog TV Lust — has been picked up for a second season, according to Variety. Given how accurately the show nails the rhythms of gay life, I'm saying this is a good thing.
- Embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen compared herself to Michael Sam this week. Her logic: She doesn't want to be known as "embattled celebrity chef" after copping to racial slurs, much like he doesn't want to be known as "that gay football player" after coming out. (So she calls him the "that black football player who recently came out" instead.)
And that's what we've got this week (though, of course, the return of RuPaul's Drag Race is worth noting, too, even if we don't get Logo). Got any LGBT-related news that has you talking?