Tags: derrickgordon | gay | umass | basketball

Derrick Gordon: UMass Basketball Player Comes Out as Gay

Image: Derrick Gordon: UMass Basketball Player Comes Out as Gay

Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014 03:28 PM

By Ken Mandel

Derrick Gordon, a starter for the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team, became the latest athlete to announce that he is gay.

The sophomore detailed his journey to Outsports.com as the first active men's NCAA Division 1 basketball player to come out publicly.

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Still, Gordon's announcement comes at a time when many professional and collegiate athletes have announced their sexualities. In February, University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam came out after the season and is poised to become the NFL's first openly gay player if drafted. 

On April 29, 2013, NBA center Jason Collins announced he was gay. He was the first active professional athlete to do so in any sport. He is currently playing for the Brooklyn Nets.

Like Collins and Sam, Gordon has received plenty of support from his teammates, coaches, and those on social media.

The 22-year-old told his family, coaches, and teammates earlier this month before telling the world.

"I just didn't want to hide anymore, in any way," Gordon told ESPN.com. "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 cited Collins as a big inspiration for his decision to come out.

"That was so important to me, knowing that sexuality didn't matter, that the NBA was OK with it," Gordon told ESPN.

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