By Ken Reed
Seton Hall guard Derrick Gordon’s stay in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament didn’t last long. The Pirates were eliminated by Gonzaga Thursday night.
Nevertheless, Gordon, the first openly gay player to play in the NCAA tournament, has made a positive difference by coming out.
“I did it because there were a lot of kids out there killing themselves and there were people who stopped playing their sport because they felt they couldn’t fit in,” said Gordon Wednesday.
“Hopefully me coming out could help them in many ways. Looking at me, playing for a top Division I school and being in the NCAA Tournament, they will say: ‘OK, if he can do it, I can do it, as well.”
Gordon said the reaction to his coming out has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Nothing bad has come from it,” said Gordon. “It’s all been extremely positive, just tons and tons of support from across the country. It’s been really great for me, honestly,” Gordon said. “Then me being the first openly gay to play in the NCAA Tournament, that’s when a lot more people reached out, with a lot more people being supportive.”
Unfortunately, not everyone is happy about Gordon’s decision. The Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, a strongly anti-gay congregation, announced they would protest Gordon’s participation in the NCAA tourney.
On its Twitter account this week, the church said, “Satan-inspired media loves to stoke his rebellion, but we’ll protest March Madness for Derrick Gordon!”
“The only lawful sexual connection is the marriage bed. All other sex activity is whoremongery and adultery, which will damn the soul forever in hell.”
– Westboro Baptist Church
Progress as a society continually — albeit usually gradually — marches forward, but occasionally we will always have to deal with groups pulling us back.
In the meantime, Derrick Gordon deserves a big shoutout for his courage and willingness to open eyes and help other people.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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