HRC Blog

First Active Division I Football Player Come Out as Gay

Football PlayersEdward "Chip" Sarafin, an offensive lineman at Arizona State University, publicly came out this week.

In an interview with Compete, Sarafin explains that he came out to his teammates last spring and is now ready to come out publicly.  “It was really personal to me, and it benefited my peace of mind greatly,” Sarafin said.

Sarafin received support from his team and coaches, including Arizona State coach Todd Graham. "We are a brotherhood that is not defined by cultural and personal differences, but rather an individual's commitment to the Sun Devil Way,” Graham said in a statement.

Sarafin, who is in fifth-year working towards a master's in biomedical engineering, follows in the footsteps of Michael Sam, who publicly came out after the 2013 season was over prior to the NFL draft. Sam tweeted, “Congratulations Chip Sarafin for having the courage to be yourself. Wishing you and your teammates much success this season. #courage2014.”

There is a growing list of notable athletes who have come out recently, including Michael Sam, Jason Collins, Robbie Rogers, Brittney Griner, Orlando Cruz, Megan Rapinoe, Lori Lindsey, and Tom Daley.

Chip Sarafin’s coming out is a courageous step forward for the LGBT community and sends a powerful message to LGBT youth who struggle to live openly and authentically. 

Coming out -- whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or allied -- is a deeply personal journey for every individual. For more resources on coming out, visit HRC’s Coming Out Center.

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