Edward “Chip” Sarafin, Offensive Lineman with the Sun Devils, Arizona State, followed the example of Michael Sam, and began telling his teammates, months before going public, that he was gay.
He says he told his teammates first so that they would hear about it directly from him, and not from the college rumour-mill:
“It was really personal to me, and it benefitted my peace of mind greatly”.
Sarafin, 6’6″, who weighs over 300 lbs and has a bachelors degree in biomedical engineering, came out publicly to the gay sports magazine, Compete, making him the first openly gay footballer in Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision, the highest level of intercollegiate football in the US.
He also said that he knew that a lot of people who were bullied for being different were bullied by athletes, and that made him angry, as he feels athletes should be role models for the young.
Sarafin, who plays as No. 79, got many tweets of support, including Michael Sam, who tweeted:
Congratulations Chip Sarafin for having the courage to be yourself. Wishing you and your teammates much success this season.
Chip’s ultimate goal is to be a neurologist, and to be:
“Someone who gives back to everyone, and loves his family…that is the type of man I want to be”.