Even non-basketball fans know about basketball fan Jason Collins. He’s the first openly gay player in one of the four major professional sports. He wears jersey number 98 to honor Matthew Sheppard; the teen killed in a gay-hate crime in 1998.
Since Collins started with the Brooklyn Nets on a temporary 10-day contract a couple of weeks ago, his jersey has been among the top sellers on NBA.com. But how do the revenues from his jersey sales actually break down?
The NBA will receive 50 percent of proceeds from sales and the National Basketball Player’s Association will get the other half. The NBA has decided to donate its portion of the proceeds towards the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
Alicia Jessop teaches sports law at the University of Miami. She said the Brooklyn Nets will hold onto the money they make off the jersey.
“All the merchandise they sell in their own brick and mortar locations and their teams stores. They will keep all of the proceeds from those sales,” said Jessop.
Jessop said the high jersey sales really speak to the power of sports.
“People who would never go to an NBA game are sitting front and center,” said Jessop. “A guy who’s averaging less than 1 point per game? He has the best selling jersey on the NBA’s website.”