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NCAA championship swimmer Abrahm DeVine says homophobic Stanford coaches dropped him from team

In an Instagram post, out gay NCAA championship swimmer Abrahm DeVine says Stanford University coaches dropped him because of homophobia.

Abrahm Devine is a swimmer at Stanford.
Abrahm Devine
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

UPDATE (9/30/19): Stanford University swim team coaches Dan Schemmel and Greg Meehan have released the following statement regarding Abrahm DeVine’s claims:

“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. 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.”

ORIGINAL REPORT: Abrahm DeVine, the NCAA championship swimmer who came out as gay in 2018, has published an Instagram post alleging that Stanford University coaches kicked him off the swim team due to homophobia.

While DeVine says in the post, “I was kicked off the Stanford swim team ... [due] to the fact that I am gay,” his post contains no specifics and differs from his 2018 statements praising his entire team for embracing him after coming out.

In his Instagram post, DeVine wrote:

“As many of you know, I’m an openly gay swimmer and I am the only one at my level. I want to use this post to call out some of the homophobia that I’ve experienced being an athlete, and encourage everyone to be thoughtful and intentional about changing some of the homophobic aspects of the athletic culture that exists today.

While I have many specific examples of micro aggressions and outright aggressions that I’ve experienced, homophobia is ultimately much more than an accumulation of experiences....

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.

Everyone says they support me, and yet, for the millionth time, I am the only one speaking up.”

Later on in his post, DeVine says that “coaches who sport the pride flag on their desk [and]... athletes who liked my pride photo on Instagram,” should question how they support him and his equality.

“How can you not see how Stanford Swim has treated me and used me over the last 4 years?” he wrote.

Here’s his Instagram post:

View this post on Instagram

As many of you know, I’m an openly gay swimmer and I am the only one at my level. I want to use this post to call out some of the homophobia that I’ve experienced being an athlete, and encourage everyone to be thoughtful and intentional about changing some of the homophobic aspects of the athletic culture that exists today. While I have many specific examples of micro aggressions 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 civil duty to educate yourself. If you choose not to, it is at my expense.

A post shared by Abrahm DeVine (@abrahmdevine) on

When he came out in a 2018 interview with Swimming World magazine, DeVine said, “I remember that being a pretty emotional time, and just feeling my whole team wrap around me and feeling that love in a place where I hadn’t really felt it, that was definitely pretty special for me. Just seeing them kind of prove me wrong was definitely special, something I’ll never forget.”