BY: John Mamola
In the wake of Michael Sam becoming the first openly gay man to play in the NFL, college football is beginning to break down the barriers of homosexuality in collegiate sports. Wednesday evening, Arizona State senior offensive lineman Edward Sarafin has told Phoenix-based Compete Magazine that he is gay, making him the first active Division I football player to come out.
Sarafin said that he revealed his sexual orientation to his teammates nonchalantly last spring. Arizona coach Todd Graham and athletic director Ray Anderson issued statements of support for Sarafin on Wednesday.
"The entire athletics department is extremely proud of Chip and is unequivocally supportive of him," Vice President of University 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.”
"We are a brotherhood that is not defined by cultural and personal differences, but rather an individual's commitment to the Sun Devil Way," head coach Todd Graham said. "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."
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