Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib is being praised by many for his bravery in coming out as gay on Monday and becoming the first active gay NFL player.
The 28-year-old made the announcement in a video post on his Instagram account.
“I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in the video. “I’ve been wanting to say this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for.”
He said that he was a private person and was not seeking attention but he was coming out in order to support “representation” and “visibility” in the gay community.
“Right now, I am sitting in a moment of gratitude and relief. Sadly, I have agonized over this moment for the last 15 years,” Nassib wrote in the post.
He added that he would donate $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting programs to prevent suicide in the LGBTQ community.
“For someone like me, who has been so lucky and cherishes every day, it brings me incredible sadness to think that our LGBTQ youth are at such an elevated risk for suicide,” wrote Nassib.
“I hope everyone can understand that I am just one person. I am a lanky walk-on who is living his dream. I only have a small window to achieve greatness in my sport and I owe it to my team, coaches, and Raider fans to be completely locked in and at my best for the upcoming season,” he added.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement praising Nassib for “courageously sharing his truth.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis told ESPN, “It’s 2021. All the more power to Carl. It doesn’t change my opinion of him as a person or as a Raider.”
Raiders coach Jon Gruden added via text message to ESPN: “I learned a long time ago what makes a man different is what makes him great.”
Nassib joined the Raiders in 2020 on a three-year, $25 million free-agent deal. Last season, he had 2.5 sacks and an interception in 14 games, including five starts.
In 2014, Michael Sam became the first openly gay football player to be drafted into the NFL, but he was cut by the Rams before he could play in a regular-season NFL game.
Here’s a local news report about Carl Nassib:
Raiders’ Carl Nassib Becomes First Openly Gay Active NFL Player, Partners With SoCal-Based ‘Trevor P