The college basketball season may be over, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be breaking news in the sport–UMass’s Derrick Gordon has announced he is gay.
Tuesday night saw the college basketball season end with history being made. With the women’s win over Notre Dame it was just the second time in NCAA Division I history that the men’s and women’s title was won by teams from the same school (also Connecticut back in 2004).
Wednesday morning history was made again when UMass guard Derrick Gordon became the first openly gay player in division I men’s basketball.
Gordon had been thinking of telling his teammates once the team lost in the opening round of the Tournament. He had become comfortable with his sexuality and didn’t want to hide it and who he is from his teammates anymore.
“I was thinking about summer plans and just being around my teammates and how it was going to be,” Gordon said. “I just thought, ‘Why not now? Why not do it in the offseason when it’s the perfect time to let my teammates know and everybody know my sexuality.”
UMass head coach Derek Kellogg helped make the process of telling his teammates much easier than it could have been. He started off by reminding the team that they are all a family that cares for each other no matter who they are and that someone had something he needed to share.
Kellogg noticed that Gordon was struggling with getting the words out so he said: “I wanted to let you all know I’m gay.”
As could be expected, the players looked back in shock. Gordon took that as his que.
“No, he’s not. But I am.”
It didn’t long for one of the players to respond; they all did with pretty much the same sentiment.
“You’re our family,” junior center Cady Lalanne said. “We love you.”
When Jason Collins came out last year we knew his announcement had to be the beginning. Even though he wasn’t with a team at the time it was still a pretty big deal. After Missouri defensive end Michael Sam came out the door was officially open. No one had to be the first anymore.
Gordon is only a sophomore so he will be the first active male player in a major college sport.