Former NBA player Jason Collins battling coronavirus

Jason Collins Coronavirus

Former NBA star and LGBTQ activist Jason Collins wears a trucker hat he designed with the LGBTQ Pride color scheme.

Former NBA star and LGBTQ activist Jason Collins and his partner seem to be on the mend from battling coronavirus.

The former Brooklyn Nets player, who made history in 2014 when he came out as gay, said on social media this week that he and partner Brunson Green tested positive for COVID-19. Collins said his first symptoms appeared on March 11.

On Thursday, Collins wrote on Twitter their conditions had improved.


First symptoms

Collins thinks he contracted the virus at a basketball Pride match earlier this month.

In a post Tuesday, Collins wrote: “I tested positive for COVID19. I believe I got it while on a trip to NYC at the beginning of the month for the Brooklyn Nets Pride night game.

“I had my first symptoms on Wed March 11. Terrible headache. A few days later I had a fever and then the cough.

“On Saturday I went to the ER and got tested and spoke with some docs about the tightness in my chest.”

Resting at home

“I’m home now resting but still experiencing some tightness and might go back to the hospital later today. On Saturday my lungs were clear, which obviously is good.”

He added: “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.”

In one Tweet, Collins gave a shout out to the medical team at UCLA Health who have been treating the couple.

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Gay NBA player

Collins made history in 2014 when he became came out as the first NBA player to identify as gay. Collins also was the first openly gay athlete to play in any of the four major North American pro sports leagues for baseball, basketball, football, and hockey.

Collins spent 13 seasons in the league and announced his retirement before the start of the 2014-15 season. He is an NBA Cares ambassador.

The NBA is at the epicenter of a COVID-19 outbreak among pro sports leagues. At least 10 active players have tested positive (four from Brooklyn, two from Utah, two from the Los Angeles Lakers, one from Boston and one from Detroit) plus one basketball staffer from Denver and three staffers from Philadelphia.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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