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UMass Guard Derrick Gordon Comes Out, Becomes First Openly Gay NCAA Division I Basketball Player

by: Esteban On  Wednesday, April 9, 2014

derrick gordon first opening gay ncaa division i basketball player

One by one, they’re starting to fall like dominoes.

First Jason Collins came out and became the first openly gay NBA player. Then Robbie Rogers became the first opening gay MLS player, and Michael Sam took steps toward becoming the first opening gay NFL player.

Now we have our first openly gay NCAA Division I basketball player. His name is Derrick Gordon, and he just finished his sophomore season as a starter for the UMass Minutemen. He decided to come out to his family, coaches, and teammates not long after the Minutemen lost to the Tennessee Volunteers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

“I just didn’t want to hide anymore, in any way,” he told ESPN. “I didn’t want to have to lie or sneak. I’ve been waiting and watching for the last few months, wondering when a Division I player would come out, and finally I just said, ‘Why not me?’”

Gordon shared his news with UMass coach Derek Kellogg over the phone on March 30. From there, a handful of administrators in the UMass athletic department worked with Gordon to help him prepare to tell his teammates. And on April 2, with Kellogg standing by his side, he told the team.

The positive feedback was immediate. Gordon says right after he finished speaking, one of his teammates stood up and said, “We got you; you’re one of us.”

Of course, there are sure to be a few bumps along the road for Gordon, because that, sadly, is the world we live in. But with his teammates behind him, he can handle it.

Hat Tip – [ESPN]




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