Bryant Assistant Basketball Coach Announces He's Gay


From - Since I started telling people in college basketball over the last few months, I’ve realized my fears were far worse than reality. I’ve realized that people, for the most part, are human beings first. For a guy who’s relatively cynical and can be negative, the reactions of people in my sport and in my life have shut me right up and reenergized my hope in the human spirit, in empathy.

You’ve got to give the majority of people credit for changing attitudes and credit to all the people who have worked to make that possible. Things have gone fairly well for me so far.

Like the people before me, I hope my story empowers someone, even if it’s just one person. But it’s a process for everyone.

My advice: Take your time and be comfortable. Everyone’s personal journey is special and unique, and no one should feel pressure to do anything they aren’t comfortable with.


I know it’s starting to not become a surprise when someone comes out as gay in 2015, but we have our first openly gay coach in college basketball. Chris Burns, an assistant coach at Bryant University, came out publically on last night. He joins Seton Hall guard Derrick Gordon as the only two openly gay men in Division I hoops.

Burns played for Bryant from 2003-07, where he said he had a boyfriend during college but hid it with small relationships with women on campus. Much like we saw Missouri embrace and respect the privacy of Michael Sam, the people at Bryant respected the privacy of Burns according to him. Burns said his boyfriend also shared a love for the game of hoops and because of him he started his career at Providence after being named the New Hampshire High School Player of the Year.

Burns said attending the Nike LGBT Sports Summit allowed him to make the decision to come out. It takes a lot – even in 2015 – to come out as someone associated with sports and I think we can all take a moment to applaud Burns for that. Hell, even Coach K – Bryant opens the season against Duke – called Burns nine times and left a simple message. “I’m proud of you.”


In his Providence bio Burns lists his favorite athletes as Mike Bibby and Kenny Anderson, so he’s great in my book. So, all you Bryant Stoolies, make sure to give Burns a massive round of applause during the first home game for them this season.