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UMass guard Derrick Gordon becomes first openly gay Division I basketball player

Apr 9, 2014, 10:29 AM EDT

Derrick Gordon Derrick Gordon

UMass guard Derrick Gordon has become the first openly gay Division I men’s basketball player.

The redshirt sophomore told his story to Kate Fagan of and Cyd Zeigler of The stories were posted this morning, and Gordon, as well as head coach Derek Kellogg, had subsequent follow-up interviews on Sportscenter.

“For this to be happening right now, me coming out, it’s an indescribable feeling, honestly,” Gordon said. “I couldn’t be any happier. I feel like I can fly.”

“I have the most profound respect for Derrick and the decision he has made to come out publicly,” Kellogg wrote on his twitter account. “He is a model student, a terrific competitor, but most importantly, he is a wonderful human being. We know his decision weighed heavily on him for some time, but as a coaching staff, a team and a family, we stressed to him that we support him in every way possible. Derrick is a first-class representative of this University and this program since he joined us and we are all very proud of him.”

Gordon made the decision to come out in recent weeks, after the UMass season came to an end during the Atlantic 10 tournament in Brooklyn. He befriended  a gay former NFL Player and You Can Play project executive director, who introduced him to other gay people in the sports community. 

Gordon averaged 9.4 points and 3.5 boards for the Minutemen last season after transferring into the program from Western Kentucky.

  1. mikecarter1135 - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    When was been gay cool

    • chipsmydog - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      It isn’t, and never will be.
      Who say’s?
      God Almighty.

      • danfouts14 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:05 PM

        You mean the same God who also said it’s ok to own slaves and kill your wife if she wasn’t a virgin on your wedding day? Makes sense. #ignorant #smh

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:02 PM

        Dan, don’t forget it’s also the same god who, according to the Noah myth, had a tantrum and decided to drown all the children in the world because he was angry with their parents (who he also drowned) who he’d created himself in his own image. Because he loves us so much.

      • ranfan12 - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:24 PM

        Wow, God got some issues lmao. So much for the perfect being.

  2. loserooneyrule - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Who came out as the first openly straight player?

    • Liam - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      The first basketball player to appear in public with his wife or girlfriend. I’m sure this happened about thirty minutes after the invention of the sport.

  3. chipsmydog - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Sin and immorality is celebrated only in a nation that is far from God.

  4. nick g - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    I feel bad for the four of you who posted those comments. You should get out in the world more. Although I congratulate you on your bravery to come out as redneck morons in public today. It was brave. When did being an idiot become cool?

    • granadafan - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Being ignorant and bigoted morons became cool when they started listening to far right wing and Conservative talk shows all day and attending Tea Paty supremacist rallies.

    • 1historian - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      I don’t know, Nick – you tell me. You certainly seem to know more about it.

  5. Indybear - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    Thank you nick g. This isn’t about being cool or being god-less, it’s about him being himself and not having to live a lie anymore. Anyone with gay friends, closeted or not, knows what I mean. Religious zealots seem to stand in judgment of others rather than practicing unconditional love. Makes you wonder.

    • tigersfandan - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:19 PM

      Sounds to me like you are standing in judgment.

  6. jbaxt - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Love the idiocy of having an opinion that differs from yours makes you a redneck.

    By definition a redneck is a hardworking individual who shows his wear by working outdoors for a living. I’d take that any day over being a whiney, hey look at me individual looking for handouts.

    Earn your keep and keep your sexual preferences to yourself, no one cares. Except those of you looking for attention.

    And if you’re looking for worldly perspectives, try announcing your homosexuality in S. Africa, China, and many South American counties. Funny how no one there “comes out”.

    • hollywood26 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      But aren’t you pretty much telling us about YOUR sexual preferences???

      You sound so absurdly stupid it’s hard to know where to start. People do indeed come out in South Africa, china and in South America. Unfortunately they often are given the love of the Christian and beaten, tormented and tortured, but they do come out.

      Oh, and I like your definition of redneck although it’s BS. Redneck means rural white person who is poor.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      RE: South America
      Gay couples have legal recognition in Uruguay, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador.

  7. jbaxt - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Funny how one supporter says see the world, another uses god to compare slavery and murder. If you look around the world you’ll see slavery and murder is very much still around. So do you want us to accept the perspectives or just listed to the nonsense you vomit? Pick your poison!

  8. jbaxt - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Why is it living a lie if you just keep it to yourself. No ones making them date anyone in public.

    • Indybear - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      Because “keeping it to yourself” is not being who you really are; it’s living the way others, including you, expect you to live and behave. Your inability to understand or accept this basic tenant of personal freedom places your ignorance at the astounding level. Keep posting to enter the bonus round.

    • Liam - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      Do you get mad at heterosexuals who date people in public?

  9. jucam1 - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Why is God always brought up in this conversation?.. Didn’t he supposedly create us in his image?. And if so, and this kid was born this way, then doesn’t that mean he is also one of God’s images?.. You can root for whatever insane religious branch you want to, but leave God out of your ignorance and lack of respect for someone else’s natural born tendencies. I’m happy for the kid, it must be tough to feel like you have to hide who you are all the time. Also, the people that persecute homosexuals in other countries and in this one, also use the bible as an excuse to punish them for who they are. So that dumb argument holds no water. God doesn’t want you to hate or judge someone for the way they were born, besides much like slavery, domestic abuse, auctioning off your daughters, and many other behaviors in the Bible, this society is moving away from homophobia… Thank God for THAT!

  10. fnc111 - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    He definitely looks like a gay. I’m guessing his teammates weren’t shocked when he came out lol.

    • ranfan12 - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:25 PM

      It’s because he’s light skinned

  11. ebrownwareagle - Apr 9, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    ????? To the GAY Community. What’s y’all’s agenda. And if the world was Gay how do we continue the Cycle of life? Are you to Adopt or cross the line for mere reasons of reproduction?

    • ranfan12 - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      Well there’s not much difference between them and hetero with one or more partners that can’t conceive. I mean how are two straight couples supposed to continue the circle of life if they can’t conceive either? Sucks, I know

  12. coloradofort - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    Does he get a Participation Ribbon?

  13. jbeagles23 - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    People on here using a fictional character to back up their arguments

  14. atahualpaoxford - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    When he gets tired of looking at his teammates di*ck*s, he can always petition to shower with the rival team…
    And no, it has nothing to do with God…I’m an atheist…

  15. 1historian - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    FYI – I am a conservative practicing Catholic. I have some gay friends and there are some gay people in my family.

    My church teaches and I agree that being sexually attracted to members of your own sex is not sinful. But giving in to that temptation IS sinful. Having an ongoing sexual relationship with a member of your own gender is sinful.

    What to do? Get down on your knees and ask Jesus to help you – He will.

    Oversimplified? Yes, but essentially true.

    But before we are anything, we are ALL sinners.

    Hate the sin, love the sinner.

  16. jbaxt - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    He looks more feminine than most D1 females. If you look it, no reason to come out, we know. And the butch version, we know that too. The only ones needing to come out are the decent looking women. Oh wait, there aren’t any of those.

    Let’s have an experiment. Send all the gays to Australia, in 40 years Australia would be humanless. It’s science!

  17. inallsincerity - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    Consider this: Blacks make up only 13% of the population. There are approximately 400,000 student-athletes playing collegiate athletics out of a total of 17.5 million college students. There are more Black men in prison than in college. Do the math, that’s a small percentage of Black college students. An even smaller number of Black student-athletes. So, why is it that every gay male athlete that has come out been Black? In addition, why the media frenzy? Why is this agenda being promoted so aggressively. Is this to counteract the centuries-old stereotype of the Black man???

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