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04/19/2007


UMass Player Derrick Gordon Talks to MSNBC After Becoming First Out Gay NCAA Player: VIDEO

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News broke earlier today that UMass basketball player Derrick Gordon has come out of the closet, making him the first active openly gay NCAA Division 1 player. Andrea Mitchell spoke with him today on MSNBC.

Gordon said he made his decisions because "there's a lot of kids in my situation right now that can't be themselves and have to hide who they really are."

Gordon said that he consulted with Jason Collins before coming out and says he didn't expect his teammates to react with the acceptance that they did.

Gordon transferred from Kentucky and said "I just felt that I couldn't go the next couple months just hiding and being somebody I'm not...Having people out there saying gays aren't allowed in sports...I think nobody in this world should have to live like that."

Gordon says he was nervous about telling his mom and his parents froze for a little bit but his mother said "I always knew" and his father "came around and supported me."

Watch Mitchell's excellent interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "UMass Player Derrick Gordon Talks to MSNBC After Becoming First Out Gay NCAA Player: VIDEO" »


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

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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.

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


Brendon Ayanbadejo Interviews Jason Collins on Being Gay in the NBA: VIDEO

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Jason Collins phoned in to speak with LGBT ally and former Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo on FOXSports' 'Unconventional Wisdom' podcast for a wide-ranging interview about joining the Brooklyn Nets, how he stayed in physical and mental shape while waiting for a team to call him up from his free agent status.

Said Collins: “You try to control what you can control. What was in my hand was how hard I worked.  I put myself in the best possible position.”

Collins downplays the anti-gay slurs he received from one "knucklehead" and also tells Ayanbadejo that his boyfriend has come on the road with the team and that the reception has been great. Collins says he has heard no derogatory words in the locker room.

Collins also talks about being a mentor to Michael Sam and running together, as well as meeting Matthew Shepard's parents, a moment that brings up plenty of emotion.

Listen to the full interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Brendon Ayanbadejo Interviews Jason Collins on Being Gay in the NBA: VIDEO" »


Former Barclays Center Staffer Accuses Houston Rockets of Taunting Him with Anti-Gay Slurs

A Barclays Center food serve says in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that members of the Houston Rockets taunted him with anti-gay slurs before a 2013 game against the Nets, the NY Post reports:

RocketsRasean Tate, 28, of Brooklyn, is suing the Rockets and the company that handles catering at Barclays, Levy Restaurant Holdings, for a slew of civil rights violations and anti-gay discrimination.

Tate claims that he was setting up a buffet in the visiting Rockets locker room before a game on Feb. 22, 2013, when he was all but chased from the area because he was gay.

“When the plaintiff’s back was turned to defendant Rockets players, he began to hear laughter and taunting voices saying ‘get this f—– out of here!’ ” according to the suit, and ” ‘He’s trying to catch a sneaky-peeky!’ “

The reeling server said that the jabs and snickering didn’t let up.

Individual players are not named in the suit, and though the worker says he was told that Nets players underwent "special sensitivity training" because of the incident. It does not say if the Rockets dealt with the situation.

Tate says his complaints were met with retaliation in which his pay and hours plummeted and he was moved off of certain duties, and eventually fired.

Rockets forward Francisco Garcia, who played on the Rockets last year also, said, “I don’t remember anyone saying anything to anybody last year, so I don’t have any comment on that.”

The Barclays Center and the Nets are not parties to the suit.

A Barclays Center spokesman declined to comment on the suit.


Jason Collins Says NBA Player Taunted Him With Anti-Gay Remark

In an interview with the NY Daily News, Jason Collins reveals that, since he became the first openly gay player in the NBA, another player shouted an anti-gay taunt at him during a game. Despite the insult from the unidentified player, Collins says he kept his cool on the court.

JcFrom the moment he embarked down this trailblazing path, Jason Collins has said that he’d turn the other cheek when faced with ignorance, accepting that he can’t control the words and actions of idiots.

He was tested once during his first month with the Brooklyn Nets, although the NBA’s first openly gay player understandably doesn’t want to give attention to the “knucklehead” or his comments.

“One player, one knucklehead from another team,” Collins said in an interview with the Daily News. “He’s a knucklehead. So I just let it go. Again, that goes back to controlling what you can control. That’s how I conduct myself just being professional.”

In the interview, Collins also acknowledged his responsibility as a role model.

Despite his attempts to divert the conversation from anything unrelated to basketball when talking to the Nets media, Collins is aware of his role as a civil leader. It can be seen in his Twitter account, where he brings attention to health care reform, marriage equality and an NFL combine update about gay footballer player Michael Sam.

“As an individual, as a person, as a human being, you have a lot of different hats that you wear,” he said. “Whether you’re an athlete or a human being trying to empower and help others. I’m trying to, again, empower and help others any way that I can.”

It was revealed last week that Collins will play for the Brooklyn Nets for the rest of the season


Brooklyn Nets to Sign Jason Collins for the Rest of the Season

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Jason Collins will sign with the Brooklyn Nets for the remainder of the season, ESPN reports:

Sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday that the Nets, who feel they're getting everything they expected from Collins when they signed him for frontcourt depth Feb. 23, are already operating under the premise that the 34-year-old will finish the season with them even though his second 10-day deal doesn't expire until after Friday. Sources say that the internal expectation all along was that Collins would be a Net for the rest of the season, from the moment he signed his first 10-day deal, as long he proved that he could still be an effective defender, which he did immediately.

Great news!


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