Derrick Gordon Announces He Will Become A Firefighter Instead of NBA Player, Let’s Speculate Why

By Nick Delmacy | Posted Aug 15 2016 | 22 Comments  

Dgordon

Twenty-Four-year-old Derrick Gordon, the first openly gay Division I NCAA player, has announced that instead of pursuing a career in the NBA, he will train as a firefighter in San Francisco where he currently resides. An enormously positive spirited young man, we wish the best for him in whatever endeavor he pursues.

The news came on his social media accounts late last month with the statement:

I’ve had an amazing basketball career and want to thank everybody who has always been there supporting me every step on the way…But I’m making a change in my career…I will now be working towards becoming a San Francisco Firefighter!! I’m excited about this and looking forward to having a long career!!

Just last March, Gordon played for Seton Hall University as a graduate transfer from UMass. His 6th-seeded Seton Hall Pirates were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA March Madness tournament in a 68-52 upset by 11th-seeded Gonzaga. Regardless, Derrick Gordon made history again by becoming the first openly gay player in the history of the tournament.

This decision to become a firefighter came as a big surprise to fans of the young athlete who, up until then, had consistently posted updates about his dream to become an NBA player. Four months ago, Gordon announced his move to San Fransisco and said the following:

San Francisco in 5 days!! Ready to get out there and start pursuing my dreams to the NBA!! #Blessed

So what happened between then and now?

Most namely, the 2016 NBA Draft happened…and, unlike NFL draftee Michael Sam, Derrick Gordon’s name had not been called by a team.

While not being selected was disappointing, Gordon still seemed positive and still hopeful. He continued to train and workout 3 times a day to be ready if another opportunity came.

He didn’t have to wait long, just one month later he was selected to play before scouts for overseas teams at the Las Vegas Combine.

I can say at the age of 24 I been blessed with alot in my life but alot of hardwork has come with it,and that’s one of the reasons I always smile…Now I have another huge opportunity this weekend at the Las Vegas Combine to show every scout what I can do…The wait is long over!!…Time to handle business!

On July 17th, Gordon announced that the results from the Las Vegas Combine, where he had performed very well, would soon be coming:

The very next day, Gordon abruptly announced his retirement from basketball altogether.

So what happened?

Usually very transparent with his followers, Gordon has been unusually silent not only on what the results of the Combine were, but also why he suddenly decided to pursue an entirely different career. How long had he been thinking about this? Was this always his backup plan? Did he give up too soon?

Sure, we could probably just request an interview and ask him (and we likely will still try in the future)…but its more interesting to speculate for now, and the answers are likely self explanatory.

The clues are provided in the subtext of Gordon’s own word. On May 12th, over a month before the NBA Draft, Gordon tweeted this:

Again, notice how consistently positive this dope young man is at all times, even in the face of bad news.

But then he started posting vague messages like:

“Everything happens for a reason!” – May 18th

“I will never change of being the person that I am…I am who I am…And I’m happy with who I am…” – May 21st

“Only control what you can control…Everything happens for a reason..The past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited or erased; it can only be accepted.” – May 27th

Had Derrick heard whispers that his decision to publicly announce his sexuality had already quashed his dream to play in the NBA? The supposedly aggressively gay-tolerant NBA? The same pro-LGBTQ NBA that moved the 2017 All-Star Game from North Carolina due to its’ anti-Transgender bathroom laws?

It appears very possible.

A couple nights before the NBA Draft, Gordon tweeted this:

Wow. If this is the case, I definitely feel for the young man. To work so hard for something and be totally looked over due to something as positive as who you love. On top of that, in coming Out, Derrick Gordon has likely helped more people than he would have in becoming a random 10th man on an NBA team. As recently as April 2016 he said this:

From the first time I saw his coming out video, I’ve been impressed and supportive of Derrick Gordon. As I shared back in 2014, I was emotionally affected by his story and how similar it was to my own in some ways. A part of me is even slightly envious of him as well. He’s far more progressed and open with his sexuality than I was at his age…and in many ways, more than I am even at my current age.

This (speculated) story of his NBA dream ending is (possible) evidence that his decision to come Out did not come without major consequences. But it appears that he’s taking it all with stride, enjoying his youth and social life, and is looking forward, not backwards with the support of his mother, friends and thousands of  fans/supporters.

In his own words, days after deciding to become a firefighter:

“At the end of the day I can say I have NO REGRETS!!”

 

About the Author
Nick Delmacy

Nick is a founder, editor and the pop culture expert at Cypher Avenue. Serving as the designer and webmaster of the site, he is the architect of The Cypher Avenue Matrix.

   
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22 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. SB3
    SB3 | August 15th, 2016
    0

    I think, st the end of the day, he just wasn't strong enough to get drafted. But I do think he could have played overseas.

    Maybe he just wants to be an 'everyday' guy for a minute. Either way, def kudos on him for the coming out moment (takes major balls to stop contributing to ur own headache) and for what he, yet, doesn't even know that he's done.

    I think u guys should DEF keep your journalist hats on and stay in the ring for an interview.

  2. mojoreece
    mojoreece | August 16th, 2016
    0

    Sad to say I think the gay thing got in the way. I thought he would at least be able to try out for an NBA D league team. I def thought he would be able to play overseas maybe latin america countries (Mexico, Brazil, etc), Portugal, Spain, or France. The truth is in some overseas teams being gay might still be seen in a problem like in eastern Euro teams, Russia, and China, North Africa, Middle East. This goes to the conundrum of being an out player. Some of the teams who are willing to take on the media coverage and as well as home crowds would have to be more open to a gay male player. For example would the CLT Hornets be willing to have a open gay player on its team or d league with all the recent NC lbgt news and it being in the bible belt and all? This kind of limits the chances on an already limited opportunity.

  3. Sean
    Sean | August 16th, 2016
    0

    I'm not mad at the brotha for trying. Chasing dreams is one thing, but it's a whole nother thing to realize that maybe your dreams are just that and in the meantime, you have to deal with reality. From what I've read about Derrick Gordon, he's not a scorer, and that's a weakness that the NBA doesn't generally go for. Even if there were affirmative action in the NBA , Gordon wouldn't qualify because he's not good enough.

    I have no doubt…when a gay or bisexual man in the likeness of Kareem-Abdul, Magic, Jordon, Kobe or LeBron (or even the Pippens and Wades of the NBA), comes along, then NBA will be so flammed up in pro-gayness, it wouldn't make sense. It's the same story of any minority, when you have skills that no one questions, then you can be just a regular person who happens to be in the minority. But as far as the NBA is concerned, when it becomes economically beneficial for any sports team to "come out," that's when they will. When straight conservative white men from Kentucky can openly promote the draft of their star hoops player from the University of Kentucky, who helped bring them a national championship, then the Nba wil come around.

  4. JohnDoe
    JohnDoe | August 16th, 2016
    0

    Being open about your sexuality is an additional obstacle (and once you're drafted an additional headache) so is it better to leave the coming out until after retirement?

  5. jusrawb
    jusrawb | August 16th, 2016
    0

    If him not being picked was based on his sexuality then that reminds me of that saying we as black people are told about succeeding, “We must be 10 times better to even be considered”. Unfortunately he isn’t 10 times better than his competition to make them over look his sexuality. I don’t think teams are willing to make that risk for a average player at this time.

  6. ControlledXaos
    ControlledXaos | August 16th, 2016
    0

    I think for any non heterosexual male athelete to make it on a team, they have to be undeniably excellent and in the upper tier of their peers. No one is going to draft you just because you play the sport and happen to be gay. You are going to have be on the rising star bubble at least if you are out.

    Otherwise, if you are minor league level, you may wanna just hold off on telling the world because they will only concentrate on your sexuality.

    Interesting that he's decided to stay in San Fran when he could probably start over in another town. Does he have ties there? That's one of the most expensive areas in the country. Oh well. Maybe we will get some firefighter calendar shots out of it at least.

    I see he likes the vanilla.

  7. Reckless Righetous
    Reckless Righetous | August 16th, 2016
    0

    that sucks. Why

  8. Budda3001
    Budda3001 | August 16th, 2016
    0

    Let’s not speculate. Happy for him.

  9. African King
    African King | August 18th, 2016
    0

    @Nick Delmacy wanna SHADE me in other threads but won't mention who he got this news tip from… but that's none of my business… *sips tea*

  10. Nick Delmacy
    Nick Delmacy | August 18th, 2016
    0
    African King

    @Nick Delmacy wanna SHADE me in other threads but won't mention who he got this news tip from… but that's none of my business… *sips tea*

    As a reward, Imma give you a gift certificate for a lap dance at In Da Cut…

  11. African King
    African King | August 18th, 2016
    0
    Nick Delmacy

    As a reward, Imma give you a gift certificate for a lap dance at In Da Cut…

    AGAIN YOU ARE SO SHADY!!! I can't with you… I been loyal AF to you guys but it's cool.

    Just hand it to me on the sly during the 5th anniversary party lmao

  12. jusrawb
    jusrawb | August 19th, 2016
    0
  13. Lancer
    Lancer | August 21st, 2016
    0

    Look f**k Christiane Amanpour, Hala Gorani, Richard Quest, Becky Anderson, Anderson Cooper, Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew this years Peabody Award should go to Nick Delmacy for 'Best Investigative Journalism: Minorities in Sports Edition'. For outstanding interpretation and utilization of Social media, cryptic tweets, Time and Date stamped receipts, and overall Audience Capture!
    [​IMG]

  14. Tom Brown
    Tom Brown | September 26th, 2016
    0

    I did a search on Derrick Gordon Boyfriend and he’s kissing an older guy. Is he biracial or something and is that his father? I rather believe that than what I’m about to told. But don’t tell me. I rather not know.

  15. jusrawb
    jusrawb | September 27th, 2016
    0
    Tom Brown

    I did a search on Derrick Gordon Boyfriend and he's kissing an older guy. Is he biracial or something and is that his father? I rather believe that than what I'm about to told. But don't tell me. I rather not know.

    yup that's his boyfriend

  16. ColumbusGuy
    ColumbusGuy | September 27th, 2016
    0
    jusrawb

    yup that's his boyfriend

    most random searches pull up that pick of him kissing the older white guy who was his boyfriend. But I do think he has another older white boyfriend in San Francisco though from his twitter(etc)pics. Maybe that is his type?

    Me: whatever floats his boat. It's his life.

    Most(ok many): COON! Self-hater! SNOW QUEEN! Race traitor. Sell-out. HE DON'T LOVE HIMSELF. smh

    If he got screwed over in basketball(and all those $$$$) for being openly gay(and black and openly gay) that really sucks. It really does. But there is nothing inherently wrong with being a firefighter. He seems like a nice young brave guy and I wish him the very best of what he wants.

    *I admit I am seeing this through my lens, not through the lens of a young black gay man seeing other black gay men in the spotlight having white boyfriends over and over and over.

  17. Tom Brown
    Tom Brown | September 27th, 2016
    0
    jusrawb

    yup that's his boyfriend

    I was afraid someone would say that. Weell I know my OLD black 46 azz won't have a chance in the world. I'm sure everyone have read this in the listings time and time again: NO FATS, NO FEMS and NO OLD DAWGS. But than, my limit would be 40 anyway, because I just can't take the NONSENSE! Note: These HIGH standards are only given to us. You could be falling off the log and be white and still these young KATS will come running to them.

  18. Nick Delmacy
    Nick Delmacy | September 27th, 2016
    0

    Of all the Black Gay Athletes that came out to a splash recently, Derrick Gordon has not only been the one I most identified with life-story wise, but he's also the one I've been most attracted to (to this day). However, I don't feel any regret or disappointment in him dating white men. Who cares. I've never met, nor may never meet him anyway. Why should I be disappointed in a rejection that never happened anywhere but in my head?

    As perfect as I think he is (I know that he's not), there are MANY other black gay men out there that are likely just as dope as he is…So I'd rather view his happiness as inspiration to find that for myself, no matter what age or race the man ends up being.

  19. ColumbusGuy
    ColumbusGuy | September 27th, 2016
    0
    Tom Brown

    Note: These HIGH standards are only given to us. You could be falling off the log and be white and still these young KATS will come running to them.

    Where?!!!!? Where are they at?

    I dated a guy named Tom Brown…. and he dumped me…

    :nopekid::sucka::troll:

  20. ColumbusGuy
    ColumbusGuy | September 27th, 2016
    0
    Nick Delmacy

    Of all the Black Gay Athletes that came out to a splash recently, Derrick Gordon has not only been the one I most identified with life-story wise, but he's also the one I've been most attracted to (to this day). However, I don't feel any regret or disappointment in him dating white men. Who cares. I've never met, nor may never meet him anyway. Why should I be disappointed in a rejection that never happened anywhere but in my head?

    As perfect as I think he is (I know that he's not), there are MANY other black gay men out there that are likely just as dope as he is…So I'd rather view his happiness as inspiration to find that for myself, no matter what age or race the man ends up being.

    I am not saying a damn thing. Not a damn thing! Not even thinking about trolling that last paragraph.

    Leaving for work before right now just so I can't say something! lol.

  21. jusrawb
    jusrawb | September 28th, 2016
    0
    ColumbusGuy

    most random searches pull up that pick of him kissing the older white guy who was his boyfriend. But I do think he has another older white boyfriend in San Francisco though from his twitter(etc)pics. Maybe that is his type?

    Me: whatever floats his boat. It's his life.

    Most(ok many): COON! Self-hater! SNOW QUEEN! Race traitor. Sell-out. HE DON'T LOVE HIMSELF. smh

    If he got screwed over in basketball(and all those $$$$) for being openly gay(and black and openly gay) that really sucks. It really does. But there is nothing inherently wrong with being a firefighter. He seems like a nice young brave guy and I wish him the very best of what he wants.

    *I admit I am seeing this through my lens, not through the lens of a young black gay man seeing other black gay men in the spotlight having white boyfriends over and over and over.

    I'm a young black gay man that sees other black gay men in the spotlight having white boyfriends and I can care less, yes black love is beautiful but so is interracial in my opinion. There black gays of all ages that have an issue with this not just young ones.

  22. SB3
    SB3 | September 29th, 2016
    0
    Lancer

    Look f**k Christiane Amanpour, Hala Gorani, Richard Quest, Becky Anderson, Anderson Cooper, Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew this years Peabody Award should go to Nick Delmacy for 'Best Investigative Journalism: Minorities in Sports Edition'. For outstanding interpretation and utilization of Social media, cryptic tweets, Time and Date stamped receipts, and overall Audience Capture!
    [​IMG]

    Don't give him too much…




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