Nets center Jason Collins was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the year 2014, after becoming the first openly gay male athlete in one of the four professional US sports this year.
His bio in TIME, penned by presidential daughter and his Stanford classmate Chelsea Clinton, lauded his integrity:
Jason’s kindness and fierceness alike derive from that word too often bandied about and too rarely true: integrity. Jason has always maintained he’s first a basketball player. He is. But he’s also a leader and an inspiration. For Michael Sam, Derrick Gordon and others whose names we may never know. And also for those of us lucky enough to be fans — or to call him our friend.
Collins is one of five athletes on the list, joining Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, tennis star Serena Williams, 17-year-old golf wunderkind Lydia Ko, and Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo.