American sports took another major step towards universal tolerance today when sophomore UMass guard Derrick Gordon came out today as the first openly gay NCAA men’s Division 1 basketball player.
“Now that I’m taking the mask off, people can finally see who I really am,” the 22-year-old Western Kentucky transfer told SB Nation’s Outside Sports, who broke the story this morning.
As sports fans in Massachusetts, we have been incredibly lucky to be on the forefront of this movement. Gordon’s announcement comes on the heels of similar announcement former Celtic Jason Collins last May and only a day after our story on Brendan Burke, the Canton native who started the conversation in 2009. Furthermore, several reports have linked the Patriots to Missouri DE Michael Sam, who came out in February, in the upcoming draft, which means the Bay State is fast becoming a Mecca for acceptance in athletics.
Hopefully Gordon’s story means that we’re headed towards a future where publicly homosexual athletes will no longer be an anomaly in amateur and professional sports. At the very least, it looks like Massachusetts has been fast-tracked to this mask-less future – which is something we should all be proud of.