Sports

Arizona State Football Player Comes Out As Gay

Arizona State offensive lineman Edward “Chip” Sarafin came out as gay in Tuesday’s issue of Compete magazine.

Sarafin is a backup senior for the Sun Devils. If he makes the team, he will be the first active openly gay player in the NCAA history.

Compete’s article focused more on Sarafin’s academic background than his sexuality. He is studying biomedical engineering and is currently researching ways to make football helmets safer. The part about him being gay was almost an aside at the end of the story, but the news is still pretty big. He apparently came out to his team last year.

Coach Todd Graham issued a statement throwing his full support behind Sarafin.

“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. “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.”

I’m loving how this is sort of a non-story. No big waves like Michael Sam, and that’s great for the sport and sports in general. It’s high time to move past this sort of stuff. I realize there is a “locker room mentality.” I’ve been there. But refusing to play with someone or being disgusted because of his or her sexuality is downright dumb. If the dude can play, he can play.

And ignorant twits like Tony Dungy can kick rocks. Regardless of what he thinks or how gross he thinks being gay is, this is happening. It’s going to be the norm, and there’s really no reason for it not to be. I’d rather be in a locker room with a gay man than an boorish bigot any day of the week.

Think about it. If Calvin Johnson happened to be gay, would you not want him on your team? Of course you would because the guy can play. Who he has sex with (so long as it is a consenting adult) shouldn’t matter. After all, we let all kinds of wife beaters and sexual assaulters play the game. Why can’t a dude who likes other dudes who’s a graduate student and trying to make safer helmets play?

Follow Seth on Twitter