Derrick Gordon is a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts (UMASS). Donning a jersey with the number 2, he’s actually the first NCAA Division 1 college basketball player to announce he’s gay.
In an extensive interview with Outsports, Gordon says he was tired of living a lie and wanted to be real. “No active male athlete in Division 1 college basketball, football, baseball or hockey had ever said those words publicly. After years of waiting for someone else to break the barrier, Gordon wasn’t going to wait any longer,” Outsports reports.
With the support of his coach, Gordon one week ago today told his teammates. Gordon says his teammates said, “this doesn’t change anything.”
“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?’”
Gordon recently told his parents. It took him some time to get the conversation started, and he says his mother had suspected and his older brother says he always knew. Gordon’s twin brother took the news harder than anyone else he says.
Jason Collins’ coming out had a big impact on him. “It definitely put a big smile on my face.”
And he says he’s very happy. He says he has “no concerns.”
“I’m happy to put this out there and happy about my sexuality. Nothing is going to change.”
Here’s an interview with ESPN:
Stay tuned — more to come.
Image, top, via Instagram
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