Jason Collins with A$AP Rocky at the MTV Video Music Awards.  (Neilsen Barnard / Getty Images for MTV)

Jason Collins brought a brief sports vibe to MTV’s Video Music Awards, shifting the spotlight from Justin Timberlake’s ‘N Sync reunion and the, um, curious performance by Miley Cyrus on Sunday night.

Collins, the first male athlete in one of the four major sports to come out as gay, took the stage with rapper A$AP Rocky to introduce Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who performed the gay-rights anthem, “Same Love.” That performance won the award for Best Video with a Social Message, which made Collins the perfect presenter.

“The only way things change,” Collins, who remains an NBA free agent, told the audience, “is when you stand up for what you believe in.”

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