Jason Collins Discusses Life in the NBA with Rachel Nichols on CNN's Unguarded

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 27:  Jason Collins #98 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on before the start of a game against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on February 27, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. Collins is the first openly gay athlete to play in one of the four major sports in the United States. Collins will wear #98 in honor of Matthew Shepard who was killed as part of a hate crime in 1998 near Laramie, Wyoming. Shepard's parents are expected to be in the crowd tonight. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IFebruary 28, 2014

Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins has been at the center of a media frenzy since signing a 10-day contract with the team last Sunday and becoming the first openly gay player in the NBA

It's been nearly a year since the 35-year-old veteran came out about his sexuality, but his return to professional basketball has propelled Collins back into the public eye and has brought the "sexuality in sports" conversation back to the forefront. 

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 27:  Jason Collins #98 of the Brooklyn Nets celebrates after making a basket with teammate Alan Anderson #6 during a game against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on February 27, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. Collins is the first openl
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Recently, Collins sat down with CNN's Rachel Nichols to discuss his return and how life in the NBA has or hasn't changed. You can watch the interview in its entirety on CNN's Unguarded with Rachel Nichols on Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Below, we'll highlight a few notable moments from the interview.

Perhaps the one question on everyone's mind is how Collins' new Nets teammates and coaches have responded to him in the wake of his announcement. 

When asked if he's noticed anything different since returning to the NBA, Collins was quick to point out that nothing has changed, per CNN's Unguarded with Rachel Nichols:

It's the same. It's the same environment. It's the same, everything is the same...Twelve years in the NBA, not a problem, not an issue. Year No. 13, not a problem, not an issue. Same old, same old. 

Nichols also asked Collins whether he felt that his comeback was inspiring to others and if he's heard positive responses over the past few months. His response was both honest and encouraging: 

Yes, I definitely have. I've met some other athletes who are sort of in the same position as I am. And we're sort of like a fraternity, just trying to help each other, keep inspiring each other. Whether it be Robbie Rogers or Michael Sam, the list goes on and on. So many great athletes I've met along my journey and it's really great to hear each other's stories and keep inspiring each other. 

The rest of the discussion can be seen and heard on the show's broadcast on Friday. 

In addition to his presence in one of the world's most popular professional sports leagues, Collins' appearance in Friday's edition of CNN's Unguarded with Rachel Nichols is sure to spark more dialogue about a polarizing, but equally critical issue in today's society.


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