The NBA just emailed to tip me that they have launched an auction for autographed Jason Collin jerseys. Sales will benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation and GLSEN.
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.
Bidding has opened at $250 for each jersey.