Carl Nassib Comes Out as First Openly Gay Active NFL Player
Oakland Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib came out as gay on Monday, becoming the first openly gay active NFL player in history.
“Just wanted to take a quick moment and say that I’m gay,” Nassib shared in a social media video from his hometown of West Chester, Pennsylvania. “I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable to get it off my chest.”
Nassib played college football at Penn State University before being drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2016. After a stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he signed a three-year contract with the Raiders in 2020.
“I really have the best life,” Nassib said in his video. “I got the best family, friends and job I could ask for. I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important.”
A post shared by Carl Nassib (@carlnassib)
He continued by announcing that he plans to continue working to increase visibility and awareness for the LGBTQ community.
“I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary, but until then, I’m gonna do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate,” he said. “I’m gonna start by donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project. They’re an incredible organization, they’re the No. 1 suicide prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America.”
With his announcement, Nassib becomes the only publicly gay active NFL player in history, as six former NFL stars have come out after retiring from the league. In 2014, Michael Sam became the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL, when he was selected by the St. Louis Rams, but he was released before the start of the regular season and never played in an NFL game.
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