NFL star Carl Nassib on Monday became the first professional player to come out as gay. Nassib, 28, who plays as a defensive end for Las Vegas Raiders made the announcement on Instagram on Monday. This will also make Nassib the first openly gay player to ever play a regular-season game in the NFL.
No openly gay player has played a regular-season game in the NFL earlier. "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 I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest," he said.
Revealing His Real Self
Nassib posted a long video on Instagram to announce that he is gay. Before making the announcement he said, "What's up people, I'm Carl Nassib, and I'm at my house here in Westchester, Pennsylvania," he said before coming straight to the point that he is gay.
"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," he said.
Nassib also said he was donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project, to help LGBTQ youth in America. He said they were "an incredible organization" and the number one group for suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth. "I'm very excited to be a part of it in any way I can. I'm really pumped to see what the future holds," he concluded.
The sportsman then posted a lengthy statement to Instagram, describing it as "a moment of gratitude and relief" and thanking the NFL, his coaches and fellow players.
With this announcement Nassib will become the first openly gay player to play a regular-season game in the NFL. Defensive end Michael Sam came out as gay before he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2014 and played for them in the pre-season, but did not make their final roster.
A graduate of Penn State university, Nassib was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. In 2018, he was claimed via waivers by Tampa Bay Buccaneers before signing a $25 million deal with Las Vegas in 2020. Nassib so far has played in 73 games over five NFL season, starting 37 of them while totaling 20.5 sacks, 143 career tackles, and one interception.
The defensive end's announcement was largely cheered online. The official NFL Twitter account shared his news, saying: "The NFL family is proud of you, Carl."
His team, the Raiders, echoed their remarks, saying: "Proud of you, Carl." His brother Ryan, a 2013 draft pick of the Giants, also congratulated him for making the announcement.
"Couldn't be more proud to be your brother," Ryan replied on Carl's post. "Love you Carl."
"Proud of you brotha!," Las Vegas teammate Solomon Thomas commented on Nassib's Instagram post.