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Derrick Gordon is the First Active Male NCAA Div. 1 Basketball Player to Come Out as Gay: VIDEO

Gordon

Cyd Zeigler at Outsports shares the incredible story of Derrick Gordon, who last week became the first active male NCAA Division 1 basketball player to come out publicly. He told his team last Wednesday, two weeks after his team's upset loss to Tennessee in the NCAA tournament.

Watch an interview with Gordon by Zeigler, AFTER THE JUMP...

2_gordonGordon describes the isolation he felt and how the secrecy nearly destroyed his career:

That was all nearly derailed when Gordon’s then-boyfriend last summer posted a photograph on Instagram of the two of them in front of a gay bar on the New Jersey coast. Gordon was wary of the post but figured there was little chance someone would stumble across the photo on a random Instagram account and identify him and said gay bar. Shortly after the post, almost as though he wanted to be discovered, Gordon "liked" the photograph online. Within hours, some of his teammates asked him if he were gay.

Gordon denied it repeatedly, but that didn’t stop various members of the team from teasing him about it. The snickers and snide remarks carried on for weeks. Slowly, it consumed him.

"That was probably the lowest point I was ever at. I didn’t want to play basketball anymore. I just wanted to run and hide somewhere. I used to go back to my room and I'd just cry. There were nights when I would cry myself to sleep.

"Nobody should ever feel that way."

Gordon then began to embark in an emotional journey recounted in the moving piece, which eventually led to this moment:

Last Wednesday, after coach Kellogg broke the ice with the team, Gordon stood before them and revealed that he’s gay. As he shared with them his story of isolation, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. While it had been easy for some of the young men to tease someone they thought was gay – and someone who denied it – the impact of their actions hit home when Gordon revealed the speculation was true, and that the teasing nearly drove him from the team.

"It was powerful for these players to see one of their brothers be so vulnerable," said Davis, who said he had to turn away from the group in the room lest they see him get emotional. "These are some inner-city kids, some rough, tough kids who Derrick wants to be friends with. They understand who he is a little bit better now.

Watch an interview with Gordon by Zeigler, AFTER THE JUMP...

Bottom image via The Daily Collegian.

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Comments

  1. Very proud of this athlete!!

    Posted by: Larry Martin | Apr 9, 2014 11:09:00 AM


  2. Be at peace, young man. You've finally accepted your authentic self. Now, go forward. Study, practise, win games, win championships, be happy, fall in love. Just stay true to yourself always. And also know that there are so many of us who stand behind you.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Apr 9, 2014 11:16:12 AM


  3. This is the kind of gay man that the media likes to ignore. He doesn't fit the gay stereotype.

    Posted by: Glen | Apr 9, 2014 11:22:49 AM


  4. Why are all these back guys coming out in sports? Where are the white guys?

    Posted by: Mike | Apr 9, 2014 11:26:40 AM


  5. He's adorable.

    Posted by: Mikey | Apr 9, 2014 11:31:39 AM


  6. It's a process. I hope he doesn't think his life is going to be suddenly all puppies and roses just because he's come out. Publicity (good or bad) can also be a strain on one's mental and physical health. But I hope this is the first step of a very positive walk forward for him. It's almost always a relief on some level when you come out. Keeping your true identity bottled up is never good ... even when the consequences aren't always easy to deal with, that's better than the alternative.

    Posted by: Doug | Apr 9, 2014 11:37:57 AM


  7. good for him

    Posted by: Moz's | Apr 9, 2014 11:43:19 AM


  8. I am so happy this young man found the strength to live his life honestly and I hope the resulting freedom allows him all the success in the world going forward! Congrats!

    Posted by: Greg | Apr 9, 2014 11:49:44 AM


  9. Mike white gays coming out is overrated.

    Posted by: Derrick | Apr 9, 2014 12:13:37 PM


  10. Haha @Derrick. Well Tom Daley and that soccer dude are white and they've come out. Don't they count Mike?

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Apr 9, 2014 12:54:15 PM


  11. Barriers are breaking. For gay men of color who have had very few role models in the past, guys like Derrick are extremely inspirational. Congratulations Derrick and welcome to the other side.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 9, 2014 1:24:58 PM


  12. Throw that boy pussy ? Wait...oh, wait...ok it's ok.

    Posted by: Welp | Apr 9, 2014 2:23:47 PM


  13. Derrick also talks to msnbc's Andrea Mitchell in an extended live interview.
    http://www.msnbc.com/andrea-mitchell-reports/watch/college-basketball-player-comes-out-as-gay-221430339608

    Posted by: Matt Pitzer | Apr 9, 2014 3:16:40 PM


  14. "Why are all these back guys coming out in sports? Where are the white guys?"

    For a long time white gays I know would ask where are the black gay guys? Why won't they "come out"? Why won't they march in the LGBT marches/parades? Why won't they do whatever it was that gays were "supposed" to be doing? With three black gay men (Jason Collins, Michael Sams and Derrick Gordon) now "out" in sports, somebody dares to ask where are the openly gay white guys in sports? Go figure.

    Posted by: elg | Apr 9, 2014 4:05:49 PM


  15. AWESOME!!!!!!

    Posted by: Dr C | Apr 9, 2014 4:56:46 PM


  16. It is odd that NFL and NBA gay players like Wade Davis, Kwame, Jason Collins, Amechi are Black.At least in the last few years.Derrick and Michael Sam aren't the only football or basketball college players to come out.The others weren't Division 1 players.As for Daly and Rogers they are not in NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL so less coverage on coming out.Most people I know have never heard of them

    Posted by: Kim | Apr 9, 2014 5:28:02 PM


  17. This is really Amazing. So much Respect and Support for this young guy. I'm 26yrs and in my life time I am so Excited to see how far we are coming Not only in Gay Rights, being Open in Sports etc. As a country and society I think we are making Great Strides and we will only become Stronger and Closer from here. Thank You Derrick you are a Strong Man.

    Posted by: Anthonyr | Apr 9, 2014 6:52:52 PM


  18. What's with the cheesy background music? Let the man's words speak for themselves without the editorial manipulation.

    Posted by: ADS | Apr 9, 2014 8:28:13 PM


  19. Beautiful story. Bravo, Derrick.

    I am overjoyed at the coming out of these sportsmen-of-color.


    Posted by: bravo | Apr 9, 2014 9:14:07 PM


  20. Well one reason why more black gay guys in sports are coming out is that there is a far higher proportion of black major athletes in basketball and football than in the general population. But since probably a lot lower percentage of black guys in general are out, it's weird again. I guess someone should ask some of these guys what they think at this point. Otherwise it's just speculation.

    Swimming and diving don't count - those seem to be really white sports for some reason.

    Posted by: emjayay | Apr 10, 2014 1:29:51 AM


  21. Ugh maybe because there's a lot more black athletes!

    Posted by: Junior | Apr 10, 2014 7:20:02 AM


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