An offensive lineman for Princeton University’s football team came out as gay this week, making him the only openly gay player in Division I college football currently, and the first to play for the Princeton Tigers.
Mason Darrow, a junior, told his story to Outsports.com.
“I want to show people you can be gay and play Division I football,” Darrow said in the article. “If that’s going to help some sophomore in Arizona come out to his teammates and be comfortable [with] himself, that’s the reason I’m doing it.”
Darrow said what prevented him from coming out sooner was the disconnect he saw between stereotypes connected to gay men and his own interests, such as football.
“It just made [the decision] harder to figure out because I didn’t fit the stereotype,” he said.
He told teammates first — and eventually the team’s coaching staff — before coming out online. Darrow said people’s reactions were positive, both at home and at school.
“I think, in this day and age, people really just don’t care about it,” he said. “It’s really not a big deal anymore.”
The number of openly gay college football players is small; former University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam came out in 2014 — after his college career — and Arizona State University offensive lineman Chip Sarafin came out before his final season with the team last year.
Outsports.com is an online magazine covering LGBTQ issues and out people in amateur and professional sports. Click here to see the full profile of Darrow.