Arizona State reserve offensive lineman Chip Sarafin announced to a local magazine that he is gay.
In an article published in the August 2014 issue of Compete Magazine, Sarafin admits he started sharing the issue of his lifestyle with teammates.
Of his own coming out, Sarafin began telling his teammates last spring. “It was really personal to me, and it benefited my peace of mind greatly.”
Sarafin says that he told his teammates mostly for himself and because he wanted them to hear it straight from him instead of the college rumor mill that all players find themselves subjected to at some point.
Sarafin, a redshirt senior from Highland High School in Gilbert, is a biomedical engineering major who has been on the scout team for much of his career. With the announcement, he becomes the first openly gay active college football player.
Arizona State released a statement from Vice President of Athletics Ray Anderson and head coach Todd Graham shortly after the magazine was published.
“The entire athletics department is extremely proud of Chip and is unequivocally supportive of him,” Anderson said. “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.”
Graham added, “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.”
The last year has seen two prominent athletes — NBA player Jason Collins and former SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam — publicly announce they’re gay.