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


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.