Chip Sarafin, Arizona State offensive lineman, comes out as gay
An Arizona State offensive lineman has come out as gay in the August issue of a Phoenix-based magazine, making him likely the first active, openly gay player in major college football.
Chip Sarafin, a redshirt senior from Gilbert, Arizona, came out in the most recent issue of Compete Magazine. In the article, the biomedical engineering major said that coming out to his teammates last spring "benefitted (his) peace of mind greatly."
Football head coach Todd Graham and Athletic Director Ray Anderson both made strong statements of support for Sarafin after the article was published.
"We are a brotherhood that is not defined by cultural and personal differences, but rather an individual's commitment to the Sun Devil Way," Graham said. "His commitment to service is unmatched and it is clear he is on his way to leading a successful life after his playing career, a goal that I have for every student-athlete.
"Diversity and acceptance are two of the pillars of our program, and he has full support from his teammates and the coaching staff."
Sarafin, who went to Highland High School before attending Arizona State, has spent several years on the Sun Devils' scout team, earning accolades from the team for his work in strength and conditioning. Graham said that he has also been recognized as a "Scholar Baller," an honor reserved for players who excel both academically and on the field.
Anderson said in his statement that Sarafin, a Tillman Scholar who participates heavily in the Phoenix youth sports scene, embodies all of the characteristics that set the school's student-athletes apart.
"The entire athletics department is extremely proud of Chip and is unequivocally supportive of him," Anderson said.
Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam came out as gay in February and was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in May, making him the first openly gay NFL player. Sam did not come out publicly until after his college career was over. He tweeted his support for Sarafin late Wednesday afternoon.
Congratulations Chip Sarafin for having the courage to be yourself. Wishing you and your teammates much success this season. #courage2014
— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) August 13, 2014