More on Derrick Gordon, the University of Massachusetts basketball phenom who became the first active and openly gay player in NCAA Division I history ...
The 22-year-old point guard spoke at length with reporters on his historic decision to come. "I was living life in shame," the UMass guard said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It took a toll on me. ... There was a time that I didn't want to play basketball anymore and that's the worst feeling ever. Right now I'm happy. I'm free just to live my life."
Unfortunately, not everyone is pleased with Gordon's coming out. The young man's immediate family has demonstrated a "mixed" reaction, according to a report from USA Today. The basketball player's mother and father initially expressed reluctance—although the mom always suspected he could have been gay. Gordon's twin brother has expressed hostility.
"After we talked, I told him, 'I still love you.' I'm just happy he's relieved of years of pain," said Sandra [Gordon], who initially didn't want her son to go public because of the national spotlight and scope. ... It's just a blessing and I'm excited that he finally got this out. Because even when he was playing basketball, Derrick just wasn't Derrick. Something was off. Now he can be free."
The rest of Gordon's family had mixed reactions to Derrick's sexual orientation, his mother said. His father, Michael, was taken off-guard at first. ... Gordon's oldest brother, Mike, said he "kind of knew," according to Sandra. Gordon's twin brother, Darryl, hasn't taken it well, Sandra said. "(Darryl) is taking it real hard. You know, he'll say he can't support gays," Sandra Gordon said. "And I'll just say, 'Support your brother.' It's not like he just woke up and said, 'I'm gay.' I told him, 'that could have been you.' "
Sandra Gordon said their family has gay relatives so she wasn't that stunned by her son's revelation. "My niece is gay and my husband's cousin just got married," she said.
The twin brother's reaction is quote precious. Would he be more supportive if Derrick were a gangbanger instead of one of the leading collegiate ballers in the nation? Maybe. SMH.
UMass exited from the NCAA Tournament on March 21. Gordon is "fourth on the Minutemen in scoring this season at 9.4 points per game.
Gordon publicly came out on April 9, after breaking the news to his coaches, teammates and family. The young player says that Jason Collins' and Michael Sam's history-making announcements inspired him to do the same.
Twelve-year NBA veteran Collins publicly came out in April 2013 in a self-written article published in Sports Illustrated. Collins made history as the first openly gay player in the rarefied "Big Four"—the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball or the National Hockey League—when he was signed by the Brooklyn Nets in late February.
Meanwhile: The University of Missouri's star defense player Michael Sam is preparing to enter the NFL draft as pro football’s first openly gay player. The 2014 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, May 8. Sam made history to become the first Division I college football player to come out as gay. Sam is the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and was voted Missouri's most valuable player.
You May Have Missed:
Derrick Gordon is the 1st Openly Gay Div 1 Player
Jason Collins Signs with Nets
Nets Sign Jason Collins for the Remaining Season
Jason Collins Has 'Reframed the Conversation'" [EBONY]
Michael Sam 1st Openly Gay Div I Football Player
A$AP Rocky Intros Jason Collins' "Homosexuality"
Roy Hibbert Fined $75K for Postgame Gay Slur
LISTEN: Voice of Russia on Robbie Rogers, Jason Collins
LeRoy Butler Provides Details on Anti-Gay Pastor
NBA's Jason Collins Comes Out: "I'm Black and I'm Gay"
VIDEO: Charles Barkley, Shaq Interview Jason Collins