Jason Collins meets family of Matthew Shepard after Nets game

While LeBon James and his mask dominated the press on Thursday night, perhaps the best sports/human interest story of the year happened in Denver. Following the Brooklyn Nets’ victory over the Nuggets, newly signed center Jason Collins met with the family of Matthew Shepard.

If you are unfamiliar with Shepard’s story, he was a homosexual University of Wyoming student who was, in 1998, robbed, beaten, tortured and left for death by two men in rural WY. Shepard was found tied to a fence 18 hours after his beating, and passed five days after the assault. In the wake of his death, Shepard’s tale has been used to help push through stronger legislation against hate crimes.

Collins wears jersey No. 98 to honor Shepard’s legacy. The remembrance of a bigoted past, by the symbol for a tolerant future. What a wonderful sight.