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Star Stanford swimmer says he was kicked off team because he's gay

CBS News logo CBS News 10/4/2019 CBSNews

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An accomplished former Stanford swimmer claims in an Instagram post that he was kicked off the university's team because he's gay, CBS San Francisco reports. Abrahm Devine says in a caption under a picture of himself that he's the only openly-gay swimmer on his level.

During his time at Stanford, Devine became an NCAA champion, broke several Stanford swim records and was named the Pac-12 Conference Swimmer of the Year.

In a Stanford YouTube video, Devine said, "It was a really easy decision for me to choose Stanford."

He graduated earlier this year but isn't returning this fall as a postgraduate, he says, because of his sexuality.

Devine wrote, "Why is it my job to educate coaches and athletes at the most resourceful university in the world?"

He went on to say, "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."

Stanford Assistant Athletic Director Brian Risso responded with a statement saying in part that it's "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."

"Stanford has always been a very open and inclusive space," said Stanford freshman Emily Guo. "If (Devine's claim) was true I would be very shocked and surprised."

"I definitely feel like it's important to find out if it's true or not and, if it's not true, then figure out why the student would feel that way," said Stanford graduate student Eline Vandenhaak.

Devine didn't want to comment for this report.

He ended his Instagram post by writing "I am a talented, successful, educated, proud gay man: I am a threat to the culture that holds sports teams together."

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