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Arizona State OL Sarafin announces he is gay

Published On: Aug 14 2014 09:28:38 AM CDT
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Edward "Chip" Sarafin, a senior offensive lineman for Arizona State University, announced that he is gay.

Sarafin came out to Complete, an Arizona-based magazine that focuses on gays in sports.

Like Michael Sam, who came out to his University of Missouri teammates last season before publicly announcing his sexuality this year, Sarafin first told his teammates in the spring.

"It was really personal for me, and it benefited my peace of mind greatly," he told Complete.

Arizona State coach Todd Graham issued a statement Wednesday that read, "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."

Arizona State vice president of athletics Ray Anderson said in 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 set our student-athletes apart and allows our university to maintain an environment of inclusiveness and progression."

Sarafin, who is 6-foot-6, 320 pounds, largely was a backup through his Sun Devils career to this point.

Sam, now an rookie defensive lineman attempting to make the roster of the St. Louis Rams, tweeted, "Congratulations Chip Sarafin for having the courage to be yourself. Wishing you and your teammates much success this season. #courage2014"