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Popular Topics in The Arts
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Congratulations
 
Congratulations to Edward "Chip" Sarafin
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 08/14/14
Last updated on: 08/14/14
 
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On August 13, 2014, Arizona State offensive lineman Edward "Chip" Sarafin became the first active Division I college football player to come out as gay. In an interview with Joshua Wyrick in Compete, a Phoenix-based gay sports magazine, the fifth-year senior revealed that he began telling teammates of his sexual orientation last spring. The 6-foot-6, 320-pound lineman from Gilbert, Arizona graduated with a degree in biomedical engineering last spring and is currently pursuing a master's degree in the field. He plans to attend medical school to study neurology.

Sarafin made the decision to come out because he was tired of having to hide an important part of himself. "It was really personal to me, and it benefited my peace of mind greatly," he told Wyrick.

Since the publication of the interview, Arizona State officials have issued statements in support of Sarafin.

Coach Todd Graham said, "We are a brotherhood that is not defined by cultural and personal differences, but rather an individual's commitment to the Sun Devil Way. Chip is a fifth-year senior and a Scholar Baller, a graduate and a master's student. 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."

Sun Devil Athletic Director Ray Anderson issued a similar statement: "The entire athletics department is extremely proud of Chip and is unequivocally supportive of him. His undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering, his pursuit of a master's in the same field, his research involving football-related concussions, and his heavy involvement in the community with both youth sports in Arizona and the Tillman Scholars embodies all the characteristics that set our student-athletes apart and allows our university to maintain an environment of inclusiveness and progression."

St. Louis Rams linebacker Michael Sam, who told teammates he was gay during his playing days, but did not come out publicly until after finishing his career at the University of Missouri, also issued a statement of support for Sarafin, tweeting "Congratulations Chip Sarafin for having the courage to be yourself. Wishing you and your teammates much success this season."

Sarafin joins Sam and University of Massachusetts sophomore Derrick Gordon, who became the first active openly-gay Division I basketball player when he came out in April, as trailblazers in college athletics.

 
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