College basketball had a first for the history books on Friday, with Derrick Gordon playing his first game while openly gay.
Gordon, who came out on April 9, is the first openly gay man to play a game of Division I men's basketball. And he scored 17 points, plus grabbing nine rebounds, in a U-Mass win over Siena 95-87.
The moment attracted attention from ESPN, The New York Times, Boston Globe and more. Gordon has also just been honored as one of this year's OUT100.
Despite the momentous event, The Times noted how normal the game went:
"As Derrick Gordon’s name was announced during the introduction of the Massachusetts basketball team’s starting lineup Friday, a spotlight swung around the arena, and cheerleaders waved their pompoms. The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” played. There was a loud cheer at the sound of Gordon’s name. Yet nothing signified the occasion as anything extraordinary."
Meanwhile, the Globe reported on how life is so different for Gordon after overcoming the fear of coming out:
"Turns out, he feels fine. He is happy not to be hiding anything. Happy not to be lying. Happy that his game, like his life, feels “freer,’’ to the point that he sometimes feels he can “fly’’ on the court.
"He also is happy to be, he believes, on track to be drafted by an NBA team. Happy to be in a committed relationship with another man, a 50-year-old banker in Beverly Hills whom he met at a club in August, and firmly of the belief the two eventually will “do the whole nine’’ and live together as a couple."