Being an out gay man hasn’t held back Derrick Gordon’s basketball career. The guard just signed his second professional contract.
On Tuesday, Gordon announced he’s signed to play for Römerstrom Gladiators Trier in Germany, near the border with Luxembourg. They play in the ProA, which contains 16 teams.
Gordon, 29, played professionally last season for Apollon Limassol in Cyprus.
“I’m excited to be playing professional basketball in Germany,” Gordon told Outsports. “Germany was always a place I wanted to visit, but now getting to play pro basketball here is a dream come true.”
Gordon averaged 12.7 points per game in Cyprus last year, to go along with 5.4 rebounds and 3 assists. While Gordon was embraced by his teammates — he shared celebratory photos with them all season long — he says an opponent did call him “faggot” on the court one night.
Gordon told Outsports his teammates stood up for him immediately. “This isn’t going to hurt me or bring me down,” he said at the time.
As our Cyd Zeigler noted last year, it was a big deal for Gordon to play in Cyprus. The Mediterranean island is heavily Orthodox Christian. Gordon playing there reaffirmed the notion you can be an out gay man and play elite team sports.
For the first time this year, each of America’s five big sports currently has an out gay man.
Gordon made history himself seven years ago, when he became the first ever active out gay player in Division 1 basketball. He shared his emotional coming-out story with Outsports while playing for the UMass Minutemen.
Now playing in Germany, Gordon says he appreciates seeing the nationwide symbols of support for LGBTQ people.
“Driving around everywhere I seen all the rainbow flags. I feel so at peace and just how well accepted I am here,” he said. “Especially in Trier, which is the city I’m playing in. From my time here so far, I can tell it’s going to be a great season.”
We think so, too.