Elite US college footballer is first in his division to come out as gay
A US college football player has become the first athlete in his division to come out.
Arizona State offensive lineman Edward ‘Chip’ Sarafin acknowledged his sexuality in an interview in this month’s Compete, a magazine that promotes the achievements of gay athletes.
Sarafin, who has a degree in biomedical engineering and is doing his masters, said he told his teammates about his sexuality earlier this year.
"It was really personal for me, and it benefited my peace of mind greatly," he said.
He said he wanted his teammates from the Arizona Sun Devils to hear the news from him directly.
Although the interview is mostly devoted to discussing Sarafin’s academic and football career, he says he was angered in high school when athletes “who were supposed to be the role models, the heroes of the community” bullied people who were “different”.
Todd Graham, coach of the Arizona Sun Devils, said the team was a brotherhood defined not by personal differences, but by “commitment to the Sun Devil Way”.
"[Chip’s] 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,” Graham said in a statement.
“Diversity and acceptance are two of the pillars of our program, and he has full support from his teammates and the coaching staff.”