In February, Jason Collins became the first active male openly gay athlete in the NBA—and all of the other major North American professional sports leagues—when he was signed onto the Brooklyn Nets. Following high sales for replicas of his jersey, the NBA decided to donate all the proceeds to two different LGBT rights organizations.
The NBA announced on Friday that the proceeds, amounting to over $100,000, would go to the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
His jersey shot quickly to the number one spot as the top-selling jersey.
While playing with the Washington Wizards and the Boston Celtics, he chose to wear the number 98 to commemorate college student Matthew Shepard, who was tortured and murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in 1998.
Collins met Shepard’s parents and brother while playing for the Nets in Denver on Thursday, February 27. Following their meeting, Collins tweeted a picture of himself and the Shepard family holding the jersey.
The NBA is also planning to auction off the signed jerseys he wore during his time with the Nets in order to raise more money for the causes.
Collins said in a statement, “I’m thrilled to work with the league to support two fantastic organizations, both of which work tirelessly to ensure LGBT youth get the resources and assistance they need to be successful in life.”
Collins was a free agent when he came out publicly in 2013, which he remained until February 23, 2014, when the Brooklyn Nets signed him for a 10-day contract.