- Raiders DE Carl Nassib came out as gay on Monday afternoon.
- He is the first active, openly gay play in league history.
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Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib came out as gay in an Instagram post on Monday afternoon. His announcement makes him the first active player in NFL history to openly come out as LGBTQ. He expressed his gratitude toward his family, friends, the NFL, his coaches and fellow players for their support.
“What’s up people,” Nassib says in his video. “I’m at my house in West Chester Pennsylvania. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for.”
In addition to coming out, Nassib announced that he is donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, an organization that works to prevent suicide amongst LGBTQ youth in America.
“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are not necessary, but until then I will do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project. They’re an incredible organization, they’re the number one suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America and they’re truly doing incredible things. I’m very excited to be a part of it and help in any way that I can and I’m really pumped to see what the future holds.”
On the Instagram post, the Raiders commented three black heart emojis (the team colors), showing support for Nassib. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also released a statement in support.
Statement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Raiders’ DE Carl Nassib: pic.twitter.com/GM4rzsgm0E
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 21, 2021
Nassib breaks barriers.
Nassib’s announcement will make history. No openly gay or bi player has ever played a down in an NFL regular season game. There have been 15 players who have come out after playing— or in Michael Sam’s case in 2014, after being drafted but never made a roster:
- Dave Kopay: Running back, 1964-72.
- Jerry Smith: Tight end, 1965-77
- Ray McDonald: Running back, 1967-68
- Roy Simmons: Offensive lineman, 1979-83
- Jeff Rohrer: Linebacker, 1982-89
- Esera Tuaolo: Defensive tackle, 1991-99
- Kwame Harris: Offensive lineman, 2003-08
- Ryan O’Callaghan: Offensive lineman, 2006-11
- Ryan Russell: Defensive lineman, 2015-18
- Wade Davis: Wide receiver, 2000-03
- Dorien Bryant: Wide receiver, 2008
- Martin Jenkins: Defensive back, 1977
- Brad Thorson: Offensive lineman, 2011
- Michael Sam: Defensive end, 2014
- Colton Underwood: Tight end, 2014-16
28-year-old Nassib is entering his sixth season in the NFL and second with the Raiders. He previously spent time with the Browns and Buccaneers after graduating from Penn State.