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#UMassUnited: Thousands show to support Derrick Gordon during Westboro Baptist Church protest

Apr 17, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT


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Five members of the Westboro Baptist Church showed up at UMass on Wednesday, holding their typical array of hateful, anti-gay signs and sparking a counter-protest from more than 1,500 students.

According to, a rowdy group of around 100 students showed up across the street from the Westboro protesters, but a larger group gathered about a quarter of a mile away.

The counter-protest, which was dubbed #UMassUnited, was a show of support for Derrick Gordon, the UMass guard that became the first openly gay Division I men’s basketball player. He was appreciative:

It’s hard for any rational person to take anything that the Westboro Baptist Church does seriously, but it is nice to see this many students turn out in support of Gordon and the LGBTQ community at UMass.

  1. lj312chicago - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    It’s alight to disagree…but inciting hate is a completely different story

  2. lj312chicago - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Go Army

  3. djshnooks - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    WBC deserves to be bombed.

  4. thetruq - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    There is absolutely nothing wrong for standing up for your beliefs; you don’t have to attack people to do so.

    IMHO, both groups should go home. WBC shouldn’t have been there in the first place, and yes, I am a bible believing Christian.

    • sw19womble - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      The Westboro cult are pretty much counterproductive at this point.
      You’re right, neither group should be there.
      Having someone openly “different” on your team – be they gay, macho, fundamentalist christian or muslim, republican or democrat, etc… should just be a normal everyday thing. And I hope we’re slowly getting there.

    • fanofthegame79 - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      I guess the thing I don’t get about the WBC (or any religious group that protests a person) is it goes against the dogma of the religion. I thought one of the biggest things the bible talks about is only god can judge us, and we shouldn’t judge each other… Yet we hear way too many stories like this. I don’t believe in god – but I fully respect people who do and practice. But what I can’t stand are those people that hold a bible in one hand and slap people with the other.

      • chinahand11 - Apr 17, 2014 at 5:23 PM

        Well spoken, Fanofthegame79. I’m a Christian/Hindu and I want to slap the hypocrites also, but it goes against my code (so does thinking it btw) so I’ll pray for them and pray for the day when people like the WBC are the ones who are “different.” As is, they are making themselves look sillier every time they protest.

      • fanofthegame79 - Apr 17, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        Thanks, chinahand11. Take care of yourself!

      • ouvan59 - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        That is the way it began but it has morphed into “If you have the exact same beliefs as I, then God will forgive your sins. For our convenience we have filtered through which sins in the Bible are no longer valid and which ones are unforgivable and drawn our lines in the sand. We are all about love but your are going to hell.”

    • jimbokirko - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      I am 100% Christian and I will never back the Gays in their sinful way of life, it’s DISGUSTING and as God Himself said, it’s PERVERTED, just like a Pedophilia is perverted!

      • fanofthegame79 - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        Somewhere in the bible is says we shouldn’t eat things from the sea (like shrimp)…do you follow that, too? I think if you were 100% Christian, you would leave the judging up to the god you worship. I’m pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t like what you just said.

  5. chefjon81 - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    WBC is aware that the counter-protesters are going to show up, and they want them there, the more the better. By participating in the counter-protest, they’re just giving WBC more legitimacy and exposure. Best thing is to just ignore them.

  6. inallsincerity - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    I’m still perplexed as to what’s really going on here. 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???

    • chinahand11 - Apr 17, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      Much food for thought. I would not think it would be about stereotypes, but about preparing us for a big-name star white guy to come out in a sport. Just my thoughts.

    • vesuvius007 - Apr 18, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      What the H are you talking about? The only number that matters is the percentage of major sport college athletes that are black. That percentage is not small. The higher that number, the more likely it is that any individual amongst all major college athletes will be black. Your argument makes no sense.

      • inallsincerity - Apr 20, 2014 at 8:20 PM

        Do the research, like I did. The numbers don’t lie and the truth will set you free.

    • inallsincerity - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      More evidence for folks that refuse to believe: Darren Young. What’s the percentage of Blacks in the WWE???

  7. shanydawg - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    WAY TO GO YOUNG CITIZENS! confront those archaic cretins who want to dumb down society and take back the country that was always meant to be FREE for ALL it’s citizens. right wing nut jobs want to confront people like me, 54 years old with a very dim view on religion… but their fight for survival is not with me… it’s with the youth, THESE kids, who, these days, are too smart to buy into their religious dogma and tax free extortion ring. so now, they’re faced with having a logical discussion. and bible thumpers are certainly ill equipped for that.

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