Jason Collins wears No. 98 in honor of Matthew Shepard, who was killed in a gay hate crime in 1998.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA plans to donate proceeds from sales of Jason Collins jerseys to the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.
Collins became the league’s first openly gay player when he signed with the Brooklyn Nets last Sunday, and his No. 98 jersey has been the top seller on NBAStore.com. He chose the number in tribute to Shepard, who was killed in a gay hate crime in 1998. Collins met Shepard’s parents on Thursday when the Nets played in Denver.
The league says Friday the donations will total no less than $100,000, and it will also auction off Collins’ autographed, game-worn jerseys to benefit the same organizations.
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Collins says he is thrilled to help the organizations that ”work tirelessly to ensure LGBT youth get the resources and assistance they need to be successful in life.”