OutSports- Betsy Layne High School in rural Kentucky this year had a two-page yearbook spread that featured all of the seniors on the boys basketball team. Except, one senior was left out of the tribute: Dalton Maldonado, the team's starting point guard who came out publicly as gay a couple months ago.
This is the latest slap in the face of Maldonado and the entire LGBT community by a high school administration that simply won't accept that one of its star athletes is gay and was harassed for his sexual orientation by an opposing basketball team last December. The school's yearbook has omitted its starting senior point guard from the senior boys basketball tribute page in the yearbook, a deeply insulting blow to an athlete who has contributed to his school.
Maldonado confirmed with Outsports that each of the other players on the bottom of the page was a senior, and that he is the only player omitted from the page. He commented on Facebook about his omission from the yearbook tribute page, and other actions the school has taken to marginalize him and his story:
"Then I had a person [affiliated] with the school tell me what they had learned about the school attempting to cover up the whole story. I recently saw my senior yearbook, I flipped right to the sports basketball page only to find my senior basketball picture missing...which devastated me."
The school has repeatedly refused to answer questions or disputed what Maldonado has claimed, despite various eye witnesses confirming that Maldonado was targeted by anti-gay harassment.
This really just goes to show that people that still don't accept homosexuality in 2015 aren't only close-minded, but they are indeed very, very stupid. Before we start to bash this school for their lack of tolerance, let's stop for a second that think about the thought process that had to take place here...
"Alright guys. What do we do? Our starting point guard is gay. We could cut him from the team, but then we would stink. If there is one thing this community hates more than gays it's a high school sports team that sucks. I think we got to keep him, but we should totally let him know that we don't agree with his choice of sexual pleasure by constantly harassing him. Yeah, that'll work. An entire team can hate a teammate for his life choices and still be successful. Hell, LeBron proved that last year. Hold on though. I don't think that sends enough of a message. Here's what we'll do. At the end of the year, we will crop him from the team pictures. Boom. We get to use him for his athletic ability and then erase his entire existence. People will be none the wiser. The gay high schooler won't even notice that he's not in the yearbook. This couldn't possibly blow up into a big, nationwide story. Bring it in guys, that was some solid game planning."
Here's my advice for Dalton Maldanado (BTW, extremely strong homosexual name, bravo), don't concern yourself with your yearbook. You know the people that constantly look back at high school memories? Losers. Your starting center that's barely graduating with a 1.5 GPA? In three years when he is getting mistaken for a mentally handicapped bagger at the local Piggly Wiggly he will still be fondly reminiscing about high school athletics . Anyone with a shred of a life forgets about their yearbook months after they leave high school. Let's be honest Dalton, your best days are ahead of you. Your glory days aren't going to be when you were playing second rate basketball for a homophobic high school in Kentucky. That sexy guy in class that has been trapped in the closet for the last 4 years, and subtly staring at your ass for the last 3? His signature on the back page may mean a lot to you now, but you're about one drunken college fling with a consenting male away from forgetting that he exists. No need to make a stink about a couple of repressed morons running an institution of prejudice. No amount of scrutiny will help them become truly accepting. Just move on and enjoy life. If there was a time to be headed to college as a homosexual, 2015 is absolutely it. Hell, you can even play professional basketball if you're good enough. Either way you are destined for much bigger, and better things than distributing the rock to a bunch of bigots.
This message is Jason Collins approved: