A former Seton Hall sixth man says he joined the San Francisco fire department rather than an NBA roster because he believes the league did not consider him because of his homosexuality.
“I didn’t get a fair shot to show what I could do,” Derrick Gordon told the Asbury Park Press. “It was without a doubt because of the fact that I’m gay. I was heartbroken.”
Gordon scored 8.0 points, dished 1.3 assists, and grabbed 3.3 rebounds coming off the bench for the Pirates this past season. He shoots poorly from the field, but the strong defender figured as the second best transfer before leaving UMass for Seton Hall, according to John Pudner of Breitbart Sports, who labeled him “a high-caliber player.” Pudner pegged Gordon to add 4.1 points in value to a team.
While a solid college player in his travels from Western Kentucky to UMass to Seton Hall, the six-foot-three guard surprised no one by remaining missing on team boards for the duration of the draft. “That wasn’t news,” OutSports noted. “Gordon hadn’t been invited to a workout by any team, and his college statistics simply didn’t put him on the draft boards of any NBA teams. Gordon, whether he were openly gay, closeted or straight, is exactly where virtually everyone thought he would be.”
Still, Gordon’s well-wishers at OutSports wondered whether homophobia influenced teams not to invite the guard for a workout. Gordon believes just that.
“I personally don’t believe it was because of my game,” Gordon explained to the Asbury Park Press about joining the illustrious unit that famously doused the fires unleashed by the 1906 earthquake instead of joining an NBA team. “I think at least I could have been given a shot to work out, to play against some of those other players instead of being shut out.”
Despite the Brooklyn Nets signing the openly gay Jason Collins for a late-season stint the season before last, Gordon believes the NBA discriminates against homosexuals.
“Honestly, the NBA is just not ready for an openly gay player right now,” Gordon explained to the newspaper. “Maybe it’s going to take some time for it to get to that point. I’m going to support that person, whoever that is. Right now, in 2016, I don’t see it happening anytime soon.”