Las Vegas Raider Carl Nassib becomes the first out-and-proud gay man in the NFL

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Carl Nassib is a 28-year-old defensive lineman for the Las Vegas Raiders. He’s also played for the Cleveland Browns and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also played college football at Penn State. And now he’s the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib made his announcement on social media in honor of this year’s Pride Month, and he’s also partnering with Trevor Project and donating $100,000 to their work.

On Monday, Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib became the first active N.F.L. player to publicly declare that he is gay.

“I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in a video posted to his Instagram account. “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 my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate,” before adding that he would donate $100,000 to The Trevor Project, a nonprofit group that focuses on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth.

“Sadly, I have agonized over this moment for the last 15 years,” he wrote in the same post.

Nassib, a five-year N.F.L. veteran who previously played with the Cleveland Browns and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said he was finally “comfortable getting it off my chest.” Nassib, 28, thanked his coaches, teammates and the N.F.L. for their support. “I would not be able to do this without them,” he wrote in his Instagram post.

In a statement Monday, Commissioner Roger Goodell said he was “proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today. Representation matters.”

The Raiders quickly showed their support for Nassib’s announcement, writing “proud of you, Carl” in a post to the team’s Twitter account that also included his original statement. Two of his teammates, defensive lineman Darius Stills and edge rusher Maxx Crosby, voiced their support by commenting under Nassib’s post that they were proud of him. DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the N.F.L. Players Association also said in a Twitter post that he and the union supported Nassib.

Nassib’s announcement, made during Pride Month, is a significant turning point for the N.F.L., and makes him the first openly gay active player in the league’s 101-year history.

[From The NY Times]

The way Nassib worded everything, I think he had already come out to people in the Raiders organization, and probably people in the NFL organization too. Not that he owed anyone that, but it didn’t feel like Goodell was blindsided by the news, and it didn’t feel like the Raiders Org was caught off guard either. Still, it’s a huge moment – the first out-and-proud gay man in the NFL. I hope Fox News doesn’t latch on to this and put a target on his back. I kind of think conservative media has moved away from gay-bashing these days. They’ve moved on to trans-bashing and obsessing over Hunter Biden.

A post shared by Carl Nassib (@carlnassib)

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Photos courtesy of Getty, IG.

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