But even though that’s an important position, Maldonado was omitted from the school’s two-page spread devoted to the basketball team. Why?
Dalton Maldonado was the starting guard on the boys basketball team at Betsy Layne High School in rural Kentucky.
Maldonado wrote that “I would hear things that teachers would say, and many media outlets would say I “claimed” this happened in spite of the pictures and text messages I had from my coaches as proof”. But then he found himself being relentlessly taunted, harassed and threatened by members of an opposing team during a tournament – to the point of his team needing police escorts to travel to and from games. (Please excuse the low audio quality as the video was shot live on Google Hangout.).
Floyd County Schools Superintendent Henry Webb told USA Today High School Sports he was investigating the omission, which he said seemed to be due to “sheer human error.” He noted that Maldonado appears in 15 photos throughout the yearbook and has the school’s full support.
A Kentucky high school may have omitted a gay basketball player from its yearbook because of his sexual orientation – and, what’s worse, it would be legal under state law to do so. Although all previous requests to the school for comment have gone unreturned, Outsports.com should have provided the school the opportunity to respond to this story prior to publishing.
His teammates have confirmed this. “[He said] he hoped I knew they were so proud of me”, he wrote.
But Dalton went on to say that he wasn’t accepting the apology. They took Outsports’ first article about my experience and swept it under the rug, as if the harassment and humiliation never happened!
The page featured every single player EXCEPT him, and seeing as he was a starting point guard it’s a glaring omission. Obviously, negative stuff has happened to me like the yearbook incident (and) all of this stuff. I don’t care if I was in other parts 100 times, my individual picture wasn’t in there!’ “There’s always going to be somebody out there fighting for them”.
Dalton explained that his religious parents are not supportive of him being gay, however, they are supportive of him. He hasn’t spoken with his older brother since December, he adds, also because of a rift over his sexuality.
The athlete will not be continuing with basketball in college, but he is looking forward to studying a range of subjects at the University of Louisville. For that I offer my honest apology to school administrators.