US basketball player Derrick Gordon comes out
A sophomore college student has become the first openly gay basketball player in the US National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1.
Derrick Gordon, a staring player for the University of Massachusetts men’s basketball team told ESPN he didn’t want to hide his sexuality any more.
The 22-year-old remarked: "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?”’
He told the Boston Globe; “I was waiting around, waiting around, and then I just came to the senses that it’s not going to happen right now unless somebody steps up to the plate and does it,” Gordon said. “I felt comfortable with myself and happy about myself that, hey, this is the perfect time to do it.”
Gordon said he was inspired by Brooklyn Nets player Jason Collins, who came out earlier this year, becoming the first gay player in the history of the NBA.
President of GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis commended Gordon for coming forward saying his coming out would prove inspirational for young LGBTI people struggling with their sexuality.
“The tidal wave of support for gay and lesbian athletes continues to surge forward. Derrick's bold decision to come out as gay isn't just significant, it's inspirational. Today, countless young basketball players, athletes, and men of colour have another outstanding role model who reflects the fact that you can be who you want to be no matter who you love.”
As for his newfound role model status, Gordon had this to say:
“There’s a lot of kids out there killing themselves over this and not able to live how they want to live. And I just want to be able to give them people confidence enough to say, ‘Hey, it’s all right to be gay. You can still play the sport that you love. ”