news

Former basketball player Derrick Gordon opens up about how coming out affected his career

He became the first openly gay National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball player

2019-10-28

Words: Steve Brown

Former basketball player Derrick Gordon has opened up about coming out, being gay and black and how coming out affected his career.

Backed in 2014, Gordon became the first openly gay National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball player and since retiring from the sport, the athlete keeps a YouTube channel.

And in his latest video, Gordon opened up about coming out and shared a story of how he was scared of being outed.

He said: “It almost feels like it happened yesterday. I’m originally from New Jersey, currently live in LA but originally from New Jersey.

“And Ashbury Park, they have a gay club out there and it’s called Club Paradise. Back then, it was a safe place for me.

“I didn’t have to worry about people judging me and everything like that. One night, I was there. It was over the summer.

“I was dancing, my song was playing, I was getting busy, and I get a phone call. And the phone call is from one of my teammates.

“This former teammate called me and he asked me where was I. And I say, ‘I’m out at the club.’ And he said, ‘What club?’

“I wasn’t in the right space to take that phone call. So I’m surprised from myself that I even answered the phone.

“So I said ‘Club Paradise’ and when I said Club Paradise, I could just hear laughing in the background.

“And the phone went dead. And when I say my heart just completely dropped… I didn’t know what to do.

“That’s the time that I felt like running away.”

To hear more of his story, click on the video below: