Kentucky's Betsy Layne High School had a two-page yearbook spread dedicated to every senior on the boys' basketball team, with the exception of one student: Dalton Maldonado, a starting point guard who came out publicly as gay this year.
In a Facebook post published Tuesday, he described further discrimination. "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," he wrote. "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 recalled how months earlier, "a kid tried to humiliate me by calling me a f----t in front of my entire fan base and team at a basketball tournament. I came out to my team on that day, and they all stood by my side in spite of the other team trying to scare and intimidate me because of my sexuality."
Betsy Layne High School "has repeatedly refused to answer questions" or dispute the claims made by Maldonado, according to OutSports.
Maldonado's story caught the attention of James Corden, who addressed the teen basketball player's exclusion from the yearbook on CBS' The Late Late Show Wednesday. "In Kentucky, Dalton Maldonado, a high school senior and starting point guard on the school's basketball team was omitted from the team's yearbook page. Some are saying its because he's gay. That's right! He's a gay basketball player—or as I like to call him, a basketball player, because, you know, there's no such thing as gay basketball," the late-night host said. "But his school, Betsy Layne High School, claims omitting him was an oversight. That's a pretty big oversight! He's the starting point guard! Do you know what I mean? That's like not putting Tom Cruise on the poster for Mission: Impossible! They're like, 'Tom! We totally forgot! Oh! We've put Ving Rhames in there twice!'"
"Either way, I get why this is frustrating," the British TV personality, 36, continued. "I really do, because personally, I was omitted from all the team's photos at my high school. I was! Worse than that, I was actually omitted from all of the sports teams," Corden joked. "And you know what gets me? I had some great auditions for the football team. I had great auditions for the cricket team. And they said that one of the reasons that they wouldn't have me is because I called the tryouts auditions. But, still, my Midsummer Night's Dream, to the football coach, was exceptional. I even sent headshots every year."
Corden wanted to give Maldonado's schol the benefit of the doubt.
"I really hope this school in Kentucky made an oversight. I really do. Maybe they did, because the truth is if you're a homophobic school, you do not call yourself Betsy Layne High. Do you know what I mean?" the Into the Woods actor said. "Betsy Layne sounds like a girl who would love a gay friend! It actually sounds like a term for coming out. Do you know what I mean? As in, 'Have you heard about Simon?' 'Oh, what? What's happened?' 'He's gone down Betsy Layne.' Now, to be fair, mistakes do happen in yearbooks—like when I was supposed to be voted class clown, but for some reason I was given 'Most Likely to Remain a Virgin.'"