Derrick Gordon, a starter guard for the University of Massachusetts Minutemen men’s basketball team, has come out as gay. Gordon is the first Division I collegiate men’s basketball player to do so.
Gordon made the official announcement in a sit-down with ESPN, but not before addressing the matter with Minutemen coach Derek Kellogg and the rest of the team. According to Coach Kellogg, Gordon spoke with his parents first and then came to the team to garner their support. In the ESPN interview, Gordon explained why he decided now to come out.
“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?'”
Coach Kellogg said in a separate interview with ESPN and said that he prepared his team and said all of his fellow players supported him with open arms. The coach also said that Gordon’s mood has improved after he’s made the announcement in a positive fashion.
Gordon took to Instagram to thank his family, teammates and supporters which was accompanied with a photo of him wearing one of Nike’s #BeTrue shirts. The statement from Instagram is below:
This is the happiest I have ever been in my 22 Years of living…No more HIDING!!!…Just want to live life happy and play the sport that I love…Really would love to thank my family, friends, coaches, and teammates for supporting me….I would also like to thank my support team Wade Davis, Jason Collins, Brian Sims, Micah Porter, Anthony Nicodemo, Patrick Burke,Billy Bean, Gerald McCullough, Kirk Walker…You guys are AWESOME!!! Ready to get back in the gym with my teammates and get on the GRIND and get ready for next season!!!! #BETRUE #BEYOURSELF #HONEYBADGER
The Minutemen recently played in this year’s NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. They made it to the second round, losing in an upset to Tennessee. Gordon has been a worthy contributor to the team, averaging just under 10 points a game.
No word if Gordon has aspirations to play in the NBA, but he will be following in the footsteps of the Brooklyn Nets’ Jason Collins if he decides to make that leap.
Hit the jump to see the full size photo in the thumbnail.