WBUR

UMass Sophomore Becomes 1st Openly Gay D-I Men’s Basketball Player

UMass sophomore Derrick Gordon averaged 9.4 points per game for the Minutemen this past season. (Ty Wright/AP)

UMass sophomore Derrick Gordon averaged 9.4 points per game for the Minutemen this past season. (Ty Wright/AP)

BOSTON — University of Massachusetts guard Derrick Gordon has announced that he is gay, making him the first openly gay Division I men’s basketball player.

Gordon made the announcement Wednesday to ESPN and Outsports, a website that covers gay athletes.

“I just didn’t want to hide it anymore, in any way,” 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?’ ”

Gordon, 22, started for UMass during the 2013-14 season — the Minutemen’s most successful season in recent years. Gordon averaged 9.4 points per game, and UMass reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998.

“UMass is proud of the courage and the example shown by Derrick Gordon today as well as his teammates and the basketball program,” the university’s athletic department tweeted.

Gordon’s announcement comes less than two months after the NBA’s Jason Collins became the first openly gay man to play in one of the country’s four major professional sports.

In February, NFL prospect and former University of Missouri standout Michael Sam also came out. If drafted, he will become the NFL’s first openly gay player.

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  • anne sweeney

    Not a big deal. I believe going forward all news should be gender neutral. We become bigots and hypocrites otherwise. Not that WBUR will change its policy, it won’t. It enjoys as fox, exploiting these issues. Whether it be the issues surrounding color. The issues surrounding race, creed, or the war on women on behalf of the republicans. These issues bring Public Radio down to the Level of Fox News. Which in my mind is despicable. Change means Change, not joining in and being one in the same. If Bill O’Reilly is Homophobic then maybe Jim Braude is Heterophobic. You skew issues when you take sides and it definitely comes out in the wash, neither news agency comes out clean.

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