Derrick Gordon became the first openly gay athlete in men’s Division 1 college basketball on Wednesday.
“For this to be happening right now, me coming out, it’s an indescribable feeling, honestly,” Gordon said. “I couldn’t be any happier. I feel like I can fly.”
Gordon told Fagan that Jason Collins, who is the NBA’s first openly gay player, inspired him when he signed with the Brooklyn Nets earlier this season.
“When Jason came back to the league, that’s when I started to build a little more confidence about myself,” he explained. “If the NBA can accept him, then everything is going to be fine in my book.”
UMass head coach Derek Kellogg offered support for Gordon on his Twitter account after the stories were published.
“I have the most profound respect for Derrick and the decision he has made to come out publicly,” Kellogg wrote. “He is a model student, a terrific competitor, but most importantly, he is a wonderful human being. We know his decision weighed heavily on him for some time, but as a coaching staff, a team and a family, we stressed to him that we support him in every way possible. Derrick is a first-class representative of this University and this program since he joined us and we are all very proud of him.”
Gordon is the latest in a series of athletes that have become the first in their respective sports to come out as gay over the past year.
Photo: Instagram/Derrick Gordon