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UMass’ Derrick Gordon Comes Out as Gay: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

(Getty)

(Getty)

UMass’ Derrick Gordon is the first openly gay player in men’s college basketball.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Gordon gave interviews to ESPN and Outsports

Gordon told ESPN:

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?’


2. Gordon’s Teammates Were Extremely Supportive

At about the 50-second mark of the video above, Gordon talks about the reaction of his teammates.

“It was like ‘alright, we’re going to support you no matter what,” he said of the reaction. “This doesn’t change anything.”


3. He Was Inspired to Come Out by Jason Collins

Jason Collins, Derrick Gordon, UMass, gay, basketball

Jason Collins, who came out last year, signed with the Nets in February.

Gordon told ESPN that a turning point in his decision to come out was when the Brooklyn Nets signed openly gay player Jason Collins to a contract in February. Collins became the first openly gay player in American male pro sports when he came out last spring in a Sports Illustrated article, but was not on an NBA roster for the first few months of the 2013-14 season.


4. He’s from New Jersey

Gordon and teammate Cady Lalanne during a game against Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 tournament. (Getty)

Gordon and teammate Cady Lalanne during a game against Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 tournament. (Getty)

Gordon was a high school star at St. Patrick High in Elizabeth, N.J., one of the top high school programs in the country.

Gordon played one season at Western Kentucky and led the team in scoring his freshman year, but decided to transfer to UMass to be closer to his family on the east coast.


5. UMass Officials Worked With Gordon to Coordinate His Coming Out

UMass coach Derek Kellogg worked with Gordon and athletic director John McCutcheon to coordinate the announcement. (Getty)

UMass coach Derek Kellogg worked with Gordon and athletic director John McCutcheon to coordinate the announcement. (Getty)

UMass athletic director John McCutcheon released the following statement to ESPN.

UMass is proud to have Derrick Gordon as a member of our athletic family and to honor his courage and openness as a gay student-athlete. UMass is committed to creating a welcoming climate where every student-athlete, coach and staff member can be true to themselves as they pursue their athletic, academic and professional goals.

And coach Derek Kellogg tweeted this:

And this:

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