Carl Nassib, defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, has come out as gay. He is the first openly gay player on an active roster of an NFL team in league history. Nassib did so in a video on his Instagram.
“What’s up people?” said Nassib. “I’m at my house here in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just want 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. I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy 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. I actually hope that like one day, videos like this and the whole coming-out process are just not necessary. But until then, I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project.”
Not only has he come out, but the veteran end heading into his sixth season in the NFL, is also partnering with the Trevor Project, which provides suicide prevention services to the LGBTQ community, pledging a $100,000 donation.
The former Penn State Nittany Lion also wrote in his post that he is “incredibly thankful for the NFL, my coaches, and fellow players for their support. I would not have been able to do this without them.”
“I do not know all the history behind our courageous LGBTQ community, but I am eager to learn and to help continue the fight for equality and acceptance,” he continued.
The Raiders’ Twitter account shared his messages, offering their support.
On the heels of former players to have come out as gay or bisexual, like former Chiefs and Patriots offensive lineman Ryan O’Callaghan, Washington tight end Jerry Smith, and Cowboys Linebacker Jerry Rohrer, Michael Sam came out as gay following his collegiate career in 2014. He was drafted in the seventh round by the then-St. Louis Rams, but was cut before the regular season. Nassib now carries the story forward as the first active player on an NFL roster to have come out.
Nassib was drafted by the Browns in 2016 in the third round, where he played two seasons before landing in Tampa Bay for two more seasons. He then signed with Las Vegas for three years and $25M. In his five seasons, he has started 37 games and compiled 20.5 sacks.