Former Nets Center Jason Collins Has Coronavirus

The 41-Year-Old Has Tested Positive For COVID-19

Alex Greenberg
March 24, 2020 - 1:51 pm

The Nets-related coronavirus diagnoses continue to pop up.

On Tuesday morning, former Brooklyn big man Jason Collins announced on Twitter that he has tested positive for COVID-19. In a series of tweets, Collins described his symptoms from the virus that has shut down much of the sporting world.

Four current Nets players have also tested positive for the virus, with Kevin Durant being the only one whose diagnosis has been made public. The NBA has been near the forefront of the crisis in the United States after Rudy Gobert’s positive diagnosis earlier this month forced the league to suspend its season.

Collins made history back in 2013 when he became the first active NBA player to come out as gay. His brave coming out was praised by athletes, other figures around the NBA, and even President Barack Obama, who personally called Collins to tell him how impressive his courage was.

Jason Collins of the 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.
Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Northridge, California native played with the New Jersey Nets from 2001-2008. He returned to the franchise at the end of the 2013 season to play under Jason Kidd. In that second stint with the Nets he became the first publicly gay player to play in one of the four major American professional sports leagues.

The Nets held their fourth-annual Pride Night on March 4 at the Barclays Center, which Collins attended. He thinks he contracted the virus during that trip to New York City. Other athletes with COVID-19 have spoken about not having too many symptoms, but Collins detailed on Twitter how he had to go to the hospital after the virus gave him significant chest tightness.

As of Monday, there were 44,183 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, according to the CDC. As of Tuesday morning, in New York State alone there were 25,655 confirmed cases and 210 deaths.