Although college basketball recently came to a close, University of Massachusetts’ Derrick Gordon just opened up on Wednesday to tell the public that he is gay. This makes Gordon the first openly gay Division I men’s college basketball player. He shared his story with ESPN and Outsports.
“I just didn’t want to hide anymore, in any way,” the 22-year-old sophomore guard 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?'”
On Wednesday morning Gordon also posted on Twitter, “I am the first Division 1 male basketball player to come out and not the last. I AM gay. I’m not afraid. I’m not alone.”
The athletic administration at UMass has been working closely with Gordon before he broke the news to his teammates.
“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,” athletic director at UMass John McCutcheon said in a written statement. “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.”