Abrahm DeVine, a record setting swimmer for Stanford, has announced that he has been removed from the swim team for being gay.
DeVine posted to Instagram to “call out some of the homophobia” that he had been experiencing “as an athlete.” September 30th, informing everyone that he would not be returning to Stanford after graduating like he had intended to.
“As many of you know, I am an openly gay swimmer and I am the only one at my level,” he wrote. Before he divulged his experiences, he encouraged his followers to “be thoughtful and intentional about changing some of the homophobic aspects of the athletic culture that exists today.”
“Everyone says they support me, and yet, for the millionth time, I am the only one speaking up,” he continued. “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.”
The school, however, is fighting back against DeVine’s comments, with Athletic Director Brian Russo telling KPIX that “Abe wasn’t invited back to train with us this fall, as a postgraduate, for reasons entirely unrelated to his sexuality,” and that “It’s unfortunate that Abe feels that way.”
Additionally, Stanford swim coaches Dan Schemmel and Greg Meehan said in a joint statement “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.”
DeVine hasn’t responded to those claims, though he did post a screenshot in response to an allegation he was kicked off the team for going out drinking with another teammate and lying about it.
“Ask everyone about Abraham’s experience except him… Prime example of my ’supportive’ teammates being ’supportive’ when I speak up,” he said.