Derrick Gordon Becomes First Openly Gay Division 1 Men’s Basketball Player
Via ESPN: Derrick Gordon, a sophomore starter for the University of Massachusetts men’s basketball team, stepped forward Wednesday as the first openly gay player in Division I men’s college basketball, sharing his story with ESPN and Outsports. The 22-year-old shooting guard came out to his family, coaches and teammates in just a few days at the beginning of April. That’s when he also decided to publicly acknowledge his sexuality. “I just didn’t want to hide anymore, in any way,” Gordon 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?'”
Respect to Derrick Gordon. It’s a little closer to home based on how I feel about the Zoo. This shouldn’t be a big story because it shouldn’t be a big deal that anyone is homosexual, but I know that’s not the case. Each time something like this happens we need to celebrate it because it means so much to those involved and that community as a whole.
What I thought was so cool, was that last year Derrick reached out to the You Can Play Project for support in his sexuality. From the article: About a year ago, Gordon reached out to Wade Davis, executive director of the You Can Play Project, a group that works to ensure respect and safety for all athletes without regard for sexual orientation. Davis connected Gordon to a network of allies behind the scenes, and Gordon told ESPN these connections have been instrumental for him.
Knowing that people have outlets and support like this makes all the difference in the world. Knowing that you are not alone makes these decisions a bit easier on the athlete (or anyone for that matter.)
Kudos to Derrick Gordon, the UMass Basketball team and community and the rest of the people who have reached out to support Gordon. Special day for a really good guy.