Jason Collins used to joke that he chose the 98 shirt number when he signed for the Boston Celtics to “mess with refs when they called me for fouls” but the player said this week he had picked the number to mark the year Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, was killed. Photograph: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Just weeks after the US Supreme Court heard landmark arguments for and against gay marriage, America was gripped this week with the disclosure (...)