Dalton Maldonado made headlines earlier this year when he, as a high school basketball player in Kentucky, came out as gay, facing a backlash.
Now in his senior year, Dalton is making headlines again. His rural Kentucky school, Betsy Layne High School, put out a two-page yearbook spread to honor the seniors on the basketball team, but left out Maldonado entirely.
The snub is getting national attention, with a story in the SB Nation blog Outsports. The outlet noted that this is the latest in a line of apparent harassment for the openly gay basketball player.
“His deletion from this special spread in the yearbook is pretty telling. Maldonado has shared stories of discrimination by the school for the last few months, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that people at Betsy Layne High School may demonstrate deep-seated homophobia by excluding him from such an important honor for recent high school graduates.
It’s pretty disgusting. Principal Cassandra Akers and her staff need to answer to questions about the exclusion of Maldonado from such an important piece of the high school experience of Maldonado and so many other high school athletes.”
Dalton Maldonado has commented on the issue, saying on Facebook that his family still doesn’t approve and that he experienced continued harassment from his school.
“My school also didn’t approve. 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. Then I had a person officiated 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.”
Maldonado made headlines in April when he first came out and faced harassment from opposing players. After being called a f****t during a game, Maldonado said he cried in the locker room. When the team went to the bus, they reportedly found the opposing team waiting for them, pounding on the windows and attempting to get at Maldonado.
“They kept yelling that word. They wanted to get to Dalton. It was intense,” said teammate McKenzie Akers.
But Dalton Maldonado now has nationwide support, with many people leaving encouraging messages for him on his Facebook post.
[Image via Facebook / Dalton Maldonado]