Arizona State Sun Devils offensive lineman Chip Sarafin confessed on Aug. 13 that he is gay.
"One thing that's been made clear throughout the Arizona State football team's first two weeks of practice: The Sun Devils' theme of brotherhood.
"And that's no different today, when the news broke nationally that Chip Sarafin, a non-scholarship offensive lineman, has come out publicly as gay.
"In this month's issue of Tempe-based Compete Magazine, Sarafin tells writer Joshua Wyrick that he is gay.
"He told the magazine he began telling his teammates he is gay over the spring.
"Sarafin, who has yet to play in a game with the Sun Devils, is believed to be the first active major-college football player to come out publicly.
"Michael Sam, a defensive end last season at Missouri, announced he is gay after his college career was over. A seventh-round NFL draft pick, Sam is fighting for a roster spot with the St. Louis Rams.
"In April, Derrick Gordon, a University of Massachusetts guard, became the first openly gay player in men's Division I college basketball.
"According to Wyrick, ASU offered up the story, telling the magazine's editor-in-chief about Sarafin being open with his teammates. Then the university suggested Wyrick, a recent ASU graduate, come out as soon as possible for an interview on campus.
"'He was really interesting. He likes to talk a lot more about his profession than his sexuality, of course. And...he really wants to make sports better from a safety standpoint and from an acceptance one, too,' Wyrick said. 'He didn't seem like he could be more comfortable with it, and said he didn't get a second look (when he came out) from anyone on the team.
"'The more athletes these kids can see in college (as out), the more comfortable they'll feel. Maybe they won't come out to their friends, but they'll know there are lots of people like them.'"
The Sun Devils issued a statement from vice president of athletics Ray Anderson on their official athletics website:
"The entire athletics department is extremely proud of Chip and is unequivocally supportive of him,' Vice President of Unviersity Athletics Ray 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 sets our student-athletes apart and allows our university to maintain an environment of inclusiveness and progression."
Sun Devils head football coach Todd Graham also lent his support to Sarafin in the same update.
"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 is 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."
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