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Former NBA big man Jason Collins tests positive for COVID-19

Jason Collins, NBA

Retired NBA center Jason Collins announced on Tuesday that he tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Collins became the first openly gay athlete in the NBA when he shared his personal sexual orientation in 2013. The twin brother of fellow former NBA center Jarron, Jason spent most of his career with the New Jersey Nets following a collegiate career at Stanford and getting selected in the first round of the 2001 Draft.

The 41-year-old former NBA big man announced his positive diagnosis of the current global-pandemic virus on Twitter on Tuesday, saying “Please stay safe and continue to social distance. Thank you to every single health care worker out there that are our true heroes on the frontline.”

Collins also detailed his experience with symptoms of the coronavirus.

More than a dozen other current NBA players are known to have tested positive for the coronavirus, including members of the organizations Utah Jazz, Detroit Pistons, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Denver Nuggets.

After first-time All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year center Rudy Gobert tested positive right before tip-off of a matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder nearly two weeks ago, the NBA suspended league operations for an initial 30-day hiatus that has since been extended.

Jason Collins has been a major face for LGBTQ representation in professional sports since coming out seven years ago, later re-joining the Brooklyn Nets in 2014 and becoming the first openly gay member of a Big 4 sports franchise. It’s no surprise that after testing positive for coronavirus, Collins has been outspoken in thanking healthcare professionals for caring for patients along with getting out the message to self-isolate.