How brave! University of Massachusetts sophomore Derrick Gordon became the first openly gay player in Division I men’s college basketball when he came out to ESPN and ‘Outsports‘ on April 9.
Derrick Gordon took an enormous step for college sports on April 9, coming out as gay in new interviews with both ESPN and Outsports. The 6’3″ guard decided to go public about his sexuality one week after he shared his story with his teammates. “I just didn’t want to hide anymore, in any way,” he tells ESPN.
Derrick Gordon Gay — UMass Basketball Player Comes Out
Derrick says he was inspired to come out after the Brooklyn Nets signed NBA center Jason Collins in February. Jason, who came out to Sports Illustrated in May, 2013, became the first openly gay player in NBA history when he played against the Lakers in February.
“That was so important to me, knowing that sexuality didn’t matter, that the NBA was OK with it,” Derrick tells ESPN.
But it sounds like living in the shadows is what really compelled Derrick to come out.
“I didn’t want to have to lie or sneak,” he explains. “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?'”
What a trailblazer! We are so proud of Derrick — and we’re not the only ones!
Minutemen Coach Derek Kellogg: ‘I’m Proud’ Of Derrick Gordon For Coming Out
Derrick revealed his sexuality to Massachusetts Minutemen coach Derek Kellogg three days before he came out to his teammates on April 2.
“I’m proud of him for coming out, I think it’s really courageous what he’s doing,” Derek tells USA TODAY Sports.
“He’s talking about saving people’s lives. Who doesn’t want a kid like that on their team? I think this kind of thing can unite us more than anything,” Derek adds. “And now it’s out in the open so I think that helps make it more comfortable. … He wanted to finally be himself. He didn’t want to hide anymore. We support him 100%.”
We’re so glad Derrick has the support of his coach and teammates! Do YOU think Derrick is brave for coming out, HollywoodLifers? Let us know!
— Tierney McAfee