Mason Darrow, an offensive lineman for the Princeton University football team, has come out publicly, making him the only openly gay Division I college football player.
Arizona State University offensive lineman Chip Sarafin, who came out in August 2014, has since graduated from the school, according to Sports Illustrated.
"I felt trapped," Darrow told Outsports.com
about how he felt before revealing his sexual orientation to a teammate in 2013. "I wasn't happy. I wanted to tell people, but I thought there would be a lot of animosity. There are a lot of guys from the South on the team. I wasn't sure how people would react to it."
Darrow told the website that, because he did not fit the gay stereotype that's presented in the media, he feels he has never had an opportunity to engage with the gay community.
"While [Darrow] knew he liked guys in the sixth or seventh grade, images of powerful gay football players like Esera Tuaolo were few and far between," Outsports noted. "Michael Sam had revealed his truth to his teammates but not yet to the world."
"Darrow was, like so many gay athletes tell themselves, a complete anomaly. He was part of an athletic family, attending Princeton in the footsteps of his brother, Mack, who played basketball for the Tigers. At 6-foot-5, 285-pounds, Darrow was a beast. On the high school football field he turned heads with his strength and acumen," the article continued.
Princeton head football coach Bob Surace told SI that he backs Darrow and said the university is a place where he can be himself.
"Here at Princeton, if we can't handle this and say, 'we're supportive of everybody no matter what their background, religion, race, or sexual orientation,' then we don't have the right guys in the locker room," Surace said. "We're going to support Mason 100 percent."
The coach said
that when Darrow told him he needed to talk with him over the summer, he was worried that the offensive lineman, who was recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury in 2014, wanted to leave the program or was injured again.
“That’s great,” Surace remembered telling him. “Geez, I thought you were injured.”
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