Arizona State senior offensive lineman Edward “Chip” Sarafin has come out as gay the school confirmed Wednesday afternoon after it was reported earlier today by Phoenix-based “Compete” magazine.
“The entire athletics department is extremely proud of Chip and is unequivocally supportive of him,” ASU Vice President for Athletics Ray Anderson said.
Sarafin, a 6’6 320-pound walk-on, is believed to be the first openly gay major division college football player.
“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 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.”
St. Louis Rams rookie linebacker Michael Sam, who came out publicly following a stellar college career at the University of Missouri last fall, took to social media Wednesday to show his support for Sarafin.
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
Sarafin is from Gilbert and attended Highland High School before joining the program in 2010.