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NBA to Auction Jason Collins Jerseys to Benefit GLSEN
NBA to Donate all Proceeds to GLSEN and Matthew Shepard Foundation
NEW YORK, April 4, 2014 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today that beginning April 4 through April 22, fans can bid on jerseys worn by Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins, with all proceeds benefiting GLSEN and Matthew Shepard Foundation. Three autographed jerseys – two of which are game-worn – will be available on auctions.nba.com beginning at 12 p.m. EST on Friday. Since Jason Collins signed his first 10-day contract with the Nets on Feb. 23, all proceeds from the sales of his No. 98 jerseys have benefitted GLSEN and Matthew Shepard Foundation.
Each jersey is authenticated by the NBA and MeiGray Game-Worn Authentication Program. MeiGray Group, the official game-worn partner of the NBA, offers collectors the highest standards of authenticity, integrity and reliability for all game-used items.
Collins became the first openly gay, active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports on Feb. 23, after signing with his original team, the Nets. Since he was added to the roster, Collins’ jersey spent three weeks in the No. 1 spot on the top-selling jersey list at NBAStore.com. Collins wears the number “98” in honor of Matthew Shepard, a college student who was murdered in 1998 after being targeted for being openly gay.
The NBA has a long history of supporting the LGBT community including partnerships with GLSEN, GLAAD and Athlete Ally and was the recipient of the 2012 Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion Award at the GLSEN Respect Awards. In addition, Jason Collins received the 2013 Courage Award at the 10th annual GLSEN Respect Awards and Denver Nuggets star Kenneth Faried was awarded the 2012 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, in part because of his relationship with Athlete Ally.
ABOUT THE NBA
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League. The league has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2013-14 season featured a record 92 international players from 39 countries and territories. NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, which is available in 60 million U.S. homes, and NBA.com, which set a record last year with more than 9.5 billion page views, with more than half of all visitors originating from outside of North America. The NBA is the No. 1 professional sports league on social media, with more than 500 million likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA Cares, the league and its teams and players have donated more than $230 million to charity, completed more than 2.8 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 860 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.
ABOUT MATTHEW SHEPARD FOUNDATION
The Matthew Shepard Foundation empowers individuals to embrace human dignity and diversity through outreach, advocacy and resources, effecting positive change. The foundation seeks to replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance through its varied educational outreach and advocacy programs and by continuing to tell Matthew’s story. For more information, visit http://www.matthewshepard.org/.