Stanford University Swimmer Says Coaches Booted Him from Team Because He's Gay

Tuesday October 1, 2019

A swimmer for Stanford University who made headlines last year for coming out as gay took to Instagram this week to allege college coaches booted him from the team because of his sexuality.

In lengthy post, Abrahm DeVine said he wanted to "call out some of the homophobia" he's "experienced [while] being an athlete, and encourage everyone to be thoughtful and intentional about changing some fo the homophobic aspects of athletic culture that exists today."

"While I have many specific examples of microaggressions and outright aggressions that I've experienced, homophobia is ultimately much more than an accumulation of experiences. In fact, it is a denial of experience," he wrote. "While I feel like I've tried to convey this to many people, many of whom deny any possibility that they contribute it, I've started to ask myself: Why is it my job to educate coaches and athletes at the most resourceful university in the world?

"I cannot continue to try to engage people in this conversation when there is so much fragility to obscure my humanity and character, so much rhetoric to keep me silent," the athlete went on to say. "Everyone says they support me, and yet, for the millionth time, I am the only one speaking up.

"To my coaches who sport the pride flag on their desk, to the athletes who liked my pride photo on Instagram, I need you to wake up to what's happening around you," DeVine wrote. "How can you say you support me and my equality? How can you not see how Stanford Swim has treated me and used me over the last 4 years? Am I invisible?

"Plain and simple: there are surface level reasons I was kicked off the Stanford swim team, but I can tell you with certainty that it comes down to the fact that I am gay," the 2018 NCAA champion added. "This is a pattern. Homophobia is systematic, intelligently and masterfully designed to keep me silent and to push me out. I am a talented, successful, educated, proud, gay man: I am a threat to the culture that holds sports teams together. I want something to change because I can't take it anymore.

"My story is not unique. There are queer voices everywhere and all you have to do is listen," the swimmer continued. "I am asking, begging for some sort of action. If you are reading this, this post is for you! Gay or straight, swimmer or not. None of us are exempt from homophobia. It is your civic duty to educate yourself. If you choose not to, it is at my expense."

Since his post took off, earning over 1,400 likes, Stanford's official swim team released a statement, dismissing DeVine's accusations.

"It is truly unfortunate Abe feels this way. That said, Abe wasn't invited back to train with us this fall, as a postgraduate, for reasons entirely unrelated to his sexuality," the statement said. We take pride in the inclusivity and supportiveness that exists on both our men's and women's teams, but we will continue to strive, as always, to improve those aspects of our culture."

Check out DeVine's post in full below.

[H/T Outsports]

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