Abrahm DeVine Accuses Stanford Team of Homophobia; School Denies Allegations

Two-time United States world championships team member Abrahm DeVine posted on Instagram Sunday night alleging he was “kicked off” the Stanford swim team for being gay.

DeVine, who graduated from the school last spring, had been training there as a professional. He joined Team Elite in San Diego at the end of August but did not provide a reason for the change at the time.

“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,” DeVine wrote.

Click here to view his full post.

Stanford head women’s and men’s team coaches Greg Meehan and Dan Schemmel deny that DeVine was asked to leave over being gay, but confirmed he was “not invited” to remain on the team. They gave SwimSwam the following joint statement:

“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.”

SwimSwam is also expecting a statement from DeVine on the situation.

Schemmel took over the men’s program in May after longtime coach Tedd Knapp retired. He brought in Neil Caskey as an assistant, and DeVine’s primary coach as an undergraduate, former assistant Jeff Kostoff, was named associate head coach at the University of Minnesota in August.

Meehan has headed the women’s program since 2012, and currently coaches a professional group that includes Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel and Ella Eastin.

“Everyone says they support me, and yet, for the millionth time, I am the only one speaking up,” DeVine wrote. “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 also wrote that Stanford “used” him.

DeVine, 23, was a member of the United States’ 2017 and 2019 FINA World Championships teams, finishing 10th in the 200 IM in 2017 and eighth in 2019. He also finished second to Chase Kalisz in the 200 IM at U.S. Summer Nationals in 2018, qualifying for Pan Pacs later that summer, where he finished fifth in the event.

He came out publicly as gay in September 2018.

A Seattle native, DeVine was also announced as a member of the ISL’s DC Trident in June and signed with swimwear brand arena in July, and became a two-time individual NCAA champion int he 400 IM his junior and senior seasons in Palo Alto.

Devine’s full post:

Update: Devine has followed up with a couple of Instagram stories. Devine clarifies that he doesn’t want anyone to be fired, but does stand by his statement. He gave a couple of details slightly more specific than what we’ve gotten so far. He mentions “coaches trying to intimidate me, friends turning their backs, cis straight white men trying to deny something they don’t want to understand.” It’s still not clear which coaches or which team members Devine is referring to.


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4 years ago

“It’s my truth and I am allowed to speak it.” No Abe, you don’t…there is either truth or lies. “My truth” has nothing to do with it.

Swim Person
4 years ago

Have hears from multiple people he wasn’t “invited back to the team” as a result of partying too hard at World’s before the meet was over and causing quite a bit of trouble there, along with another swimmer. If true, this still doesn’t answer every question but certainly answers some.

4 years ago

Still waiting for one example or specific that would support these very broad accusations. Throwing out lots of smoke but zero fire.

4 years ago

This doesn’t add up to Abraham’s own words about the Stanford Men’s swim team from an earlier article in Sept of 2018 (https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/abrahm-devine-stepping-out-as-elite-imer-and-gay-swimmer/). See below for the quotes about his coming out to his team and the support he then received from his classmates and coaches in his own words.

Obviously something might have happened since that time and maybe with the recent change in coaching staff this May, but this seems to refute his latest instagram implication of Stanford Swimming not treating him fairly or not supporting him over the last 4 years. Not saying there weren’t microaggressions as that might be true. But based on Greg Meehan’s statement that he wasn’t… Read more »

4 years ago

Uncanny resemblance?
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Reply to  Pags
4 years ago

Or uncle Rico.

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4 years ago

Ooph these are some murky waters.
Can someone summarize the ligma comment that was posted? would love to see it

Reply to  Bruh
4 years ago

The comment in question is on the original Instagram post, and you can read it there.

At this point, there has been no corroboration of that particular comment by any source that we can identify. I couldn’t say at this point if that bit was simply a joke, or has some basis in fact.

Half Moon Bay Native
4 years ago

Obviously he took out his post. We need to respect what he has decided. Whatever the reason it is, we need to stop here. I hope he has decided to move on. We just need to support that and for Team USA.

Reply to  Half Moon Bay Native
4 years ago

I’m not sure what you mean – he has not taken down his post.

Half Moon Bay Native
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

Ok. My friend who followed him told me earlier today that his post was down. Strange.

4 years ago

From a Swimming World article by David Rieder, Sept 16, 2018.

“In swimming circles, DeVine is correct: There are very few openly gay swimmers competing on the elite level. Even as modern society has become more accepting of the LGBT community, DeVine was worried how his teammates would react to his announcement and if they would still accept him.

Before he came out to his team, DeVine told Williamson, who had graduated but still lived nearby. In his former teammate, he found care and support. “He did a lot for me and was really there for me as a friend,” DeVine said.

And when he told the rest of the team, DeVine quickly found that his apprehensions were unfounded. His… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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