Welcome to the Team, Chip

Chip Sarafin. Photo courtesy of Arizona State University.

Courtesy of Arizona State University, Aug. 26, 2014.

Arizona State University offensive lineman Edward “Chip” Sarafin made college football history after publically coming out in an interview Aug. 13.

In the interview with Compete magazine’s Joshua Wyrick, the graduate of Gilbert’s Highland High School said that he began telling teammates of his sexual orientation last spring.

“It was really personal to me, and it benefitted my peace of mind greatly,” he said.

After the initial wave of media reactions, Sarafin followed up in an interview with azcentral from Camp Tontozona the next day.

“It’s definitely good to see a lot of people out there are very positive about it,” he said. “Athletes should be able to be themselves.”

Sarafin said eventually he hopes matters like this won’t be as big of a news story. And statements issued by ASU administrators echoed that sentiment.

“We are a brotherhood that is not defined by cultural and personal differences, but rather an individual’s commitment to the Sun Devil Way,” said Todd Graham ASU football coach in a statement. “Diversity and acceptance are two of the pillars of our program, and he has full support from his teammates and the coaching staff.”

At the time of the interview, the 6-foot-6-inch, 320-pound fifth-year senior was a team walk-on. But, one week after making national headlines, Graham announced that Sarafin was among five Sun Devil football players to receive scholarships.

Sarafin is currently pursing a master’s in biomedical engineering and, while he has yet to play in a game with the Sun Devils, he is the only known publicly out player in Division 1 college football.

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