Jason Collins Gives Matthew Shepard’s Family A Signed No. 98 Jersey

Jason Collins wears the number in honor of Matthew Shepard, a gay man who was murdered in 1998.

1. Jason Collin’s jersey number of choice is 98, a number chosen in honor of Matthew Shepard – a gay college student who was murdered in Wyoming in 1998 at the age of 21.

Usa Today Sports/Usa Today Sports

2. Following the Brooklyn Nets’ 112-89 victory over the Denver Nuggets Thursday, Collins tweeted a photo of himself presenting Shepard’s family with his jersey:

3. The Shepard family drove four hours from their home in Wyoming to watch the game in Denver and meet with the NBA star for the first time.

Collins told the AP before the meeting, “I was in college at the time when he was killed and of course it’s a tragedy what happened and I just hope that it inspires others to move forward.”

4. Judy Shepard, who had spoken with Collins last year after he came out, said it was “delightful” to meet him in person.

“It was great. It was all great. He’s very kind, smart, humble. It was delightful. We were happy to finally have the opportunity to meet,” Judy Shepard said.

Gary A. Vasquez/Usa Today Sports

5. Dennis Shepard added, “Matt would see this as a great day. Jason helps those kids go ahead and live their lives to the fullest, and take their talent in academics, in sports, wherever it can take them.”

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Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at
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