Arizona State’s Chip Sarafin Becomes First Out Gay Active College Football Player

Arizona State senior offensive lineman Edward “Chip” Sarafin came out publicly as gay Wednesday, making him the first major division college player to come out.

2. Edward “Chip” Sarafin came out as gay Wednesday in Phoenix-based LGBT sports publication Compete Magazine. He said he had come out to his football coach and teammates last spring.

4. “It was really personal for me, and it benefited my peace of mind greatly,” he said about coming out to his Sun Devils teammates.

Sarafin is a walk-on player, meaning he’s not on scholarship. If he plays a game this year, he would be the first active gay football player to tell his story to the public. Last year, he was on the team as a reserve player.

Michael Sam came out in February after he finished his college career, and before he had been drafted for the NFL. He had come out to his teammates in Missouri while playing for his school.

7. Sun Devils Vice President of Athletics Ray Anderson tweeted that “the entire athletics department is extremely proud” of Sarafin.

The entire athletics department is extremely proud of Chip Sarafin and is unequivocally supportive of him.

— Ray Anderson (@SunDevilRay23)

8. Anderson also gave a 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 sets our student-athletes apart and allows our university to maintain an environment of inclusiveness and progression.

9. Football Head Coach Todd Graham also expressed support of Sarafin.

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.

10. Michael Sam also tweeted a congratulations note to Sarafin:

Congratulations Chip Sarafin for having the courage to be yourself. Wishing you and your teammates much success this season. #courage2014

— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL)


An earlier version of this article misstated the meaning of a walk-on player.

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Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.
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