Gay Basketball Transfer: ‘Blatant Homophobia’ Limited Options

AP Photo
The Associated Press

Derrick Gordon, the best transfer player available according to John Pudner’s Value Add, moved south on Sunday from UMass to Seton Hall.

The only openly-gay player competing in NCAA basketball told USA Today that though “no coaches will ever admit it” he believes “blatant homophobia” limited his choices.

“During the recruiting process, a number of schools didn’t want me because I’m gay,” Gordon told the paper. “To me, that’s blatant homophobia. At the end of the day, no coaches will ever admit that they don’t want me because I’m gay and there’s baggage that comes with the attention.”

The guard averaged just under 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists for UMass this past season. Gordon’s move sends him from one of the most socially-liberal campuses in America to a school so deeply rooted in the Catholic tradition that it refrains from serving meat on Fridays during Lent.

But it’s not the school he chose but the nameless ones that didn’t choose him that captures Gordon’s criticism.

“Honestly, it caught me off-guard,” Gordon said of the vague charges of indifference toward him from coaches because of his homosexuality. “It really hurt. It had me stressing, crying. I was starting to lose hope. I felt like I was being treated like an outsider, like I didn’t belong in the NCAA.”

He continued, “I couldn’t believe it because I’m a good player and they were looking at the opposite — something that doesn’t mean anything with my (sexuality). … ‘Nah, not the gay guy.'”