FanDuel - WFBC

April 09, 2014

UMass Basketball Player Says He's Gay: "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. -- sophomore Derrick Gordon of the University of Massachusetts on Twitter today

posted by rcade to basketball at 12:10 PM - 7 comments

I'd like to see us reach the Officer and a Gentleman slow clap phase of this trend, where each athlete coming out prompts a couple more, which prompts more, until it's a thunderous ovation and then there's a nice party where all the proud gay athletes make like it's Olympic village after their events are all completed.

posted by rcade at 03:14 PM on April 09

Good for him, but curious how he (and the media) knows he is the first out male D-1 basketball player. Maybe the first to publicly announce it via Twitter, but it does not strike me as outside of the realm of possibility that some kid at a smaller D-1 basketball school (there are nearly 350 of them) has been out at his institution and/or among his teammates, family and friends and nobody really gave a shit or made a public announcement about it.

posted by holden at 03:35 PM on April 09

Maybe, but being out to a group small enough to keep it secret isn't generally what people think of as out. What you're describing is the "people who know me have known this for years" manuever.

posted by rcade at 07:09 PM on April 09

I've heard that (out to friends only) described as the Takei Maneuver -- the erstwhile Mr. Sulu was known to be gay in Trek fandom for at least a decade before the general public was told.

posted by Etrigan at 09:06 PM on April 09

Maybe, but being out to a group small enough to keep it secret isn't generally what people think of as out. What you're describing is the "people who know me have known this for years" manuever.

I was thinking more along the lines of someone who is not being secretive about his sexuality and/or is not deliberately keeping it to a smaller group, and is genuinely out to anyone who was paying attention, but simply is under the radar because he is part of a smaller community without national sports exposure (say, someone who goes to Brown or Portland or something) and chose not to make an announcement on Twitter. I don't think there's an absolute "size of the group in the know" or "taking affirmative steps to broadcast it to the world" rule to being out.

Of course, it's basically impossible to fact check. Just was surprised that the media was so quick to christen him the "first openly gay D-I athlete" basically on his own say-so.

posted by holden at 12:06 AM on April 10

I don't think there's an absolute "size of the group in the know" or "taking affirmative steps to broadcast it to the world" rule to being out.

I don't think we're quite at the point where being gay is just a thing that happens and no one makes a to-do about it in big-ticket sports. You've always got sports writers and sports information staffers looking to make a name for themselves by breaking something interesting, even in the WCC or Ivy League.

Just was surprised that the media was so quick to christen him the "first openly gay D-I athlete" basically on his own say-so.

First openly gay D-I men's basketball player, not first openly gay D-I athlete.

posted by Etrigan at 07:02 AM on April 10

Will he form his own union?

posted by carrcar at 10:30 AM on April 10

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