An eastern Kentucky teen was forced to tell teammates he was gay just before an opposing basketball team chased them out of the locker room during a tournament.
Dalton Maldonado, a senior point guard for Betsy Layne High School, said opponents taunted him with anti-LGBT slurs during a 73-41 thrashing in a December tournament in Lexington, reported Outsports.
“Hey No. 3, I hear you’re a f*ggot,” one of the players said, and Maldonado said he was faced with a choice.
He said some teammates suspected he was gay, and he had confided in two of them, but he decided to go public during the game.
“Yeah baby, can I have your number?” Maldonado said, hoping sarcasm would cover his terror.
He broke down crying in the locker room as he realized he had just publicly come out as gay, just days after telling his parents.
Maldonado said his coach urged other players to rally around him, and he stood up and officially announced he was gay.
He and his teammates changed into street clothes and went outside to their bus, where they found the opposing school’s players had gathered to continue taunting him.
They pounded the windows after the Betsy Layne players boarded, and some of them even tried to get on the bus.
Some of the other team’s players got into their cars and chased after the bus, and one of Maldonado’s teammates said they made shooting gestures with their fingers.
“They kept yelling that word (f*ggot),” said teammate McKenzie Akers, who had known his friend was gay. “They wanted to get to Dalton. It was intense.”
Police met the Betsy Layne team at their hotel, which was placed on lockdown during the rest of the four-day Christmas tournament.
Players from the other school, which was not identified because administrators could not be reached for comment during their spring break, were kept away from Betsy Layne’s practices and games by police.
Maldonado said opposing schools continued to taunt him during the season by chanting gay slurs, but he said his teammates and classmates had supported him.
“To this day I haven’t lost a friend over coming out,” Maldonado told the website. “I’ve actually become closer to them. In fact, the one person in my school and on my team I was scared to tell sung the song ‘Same Love’ to me, as he told me he would always be here for me and was proud of me.”