Carl Nassib has become the first active NFL player to come out as gay, making the announcement in a video posted on Instagram on Monday.
“I’m at home here in West Chester, Pennsylvania,” said Nassib, a defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders. “I just wanted to take a moment to say that I am gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life, I have the best family, friends and work that a man could ask for.
On the video, arriving during Pride Month, continued: “I’m a pretty reserved person, so I hope you know that I’m not really doing this to get attention. I think representation and visibility are very important. In fact, I hope one day videos like this and the whole wardrobe presentation process won’t be necessary, but until then I’ll do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture of acceptance that is compassionate. “
Nassib, 28, also announced a $ 100,000 donation to Project Trevor, which works to prevent suicides among LGBTQ + youth in the United States.
Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, applauded Nassib’s bravery in a sentence. “The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today. Representation matters, ”Goodell said. The Raiders tweeted “Proud of you Carl.”
In an additional written statement posted alongside his video, Nassib wrote: “Sadly, I have agonized over this moment for the past 15 years. Only until recently, thanks to my family and friends … it seemed possible to me to say publicly and with pride that I am gay. “
“I am also incredibly grateful to the NFL, my coaches and fellow players for their support. I couldn’t have done this without them. I am especially grateful to have had so much support when many of those who came before, and many even now, do not. “
Entering his sixth season in the NFL, Nassib was a 2016 third-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns. He spent two seasons with the Browns (2016-17), followed by two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2018-19) before signing a three-year, $ 25.3 million deal, including nearly $ 16.8 million in guarantees, with the Raiders at March 2020.
In 73 career games (37 starts), Nassib has 143 tackles (36 for loss), 20.5 sacks, 16 passes defended, one interception, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Nassib is on his way to becoming the first openly gay player to play in a regular season game. Defensive end Michael Sam came out as gay in 2014 before the St Louis Rams drafted him, but he didn’t make the final roster.
“I hope everyone can understand that I am one person,” Nassib concluded. “I am a lanky walker living his dream. I owe it to my team, the coaches and the Raider fans to be completely locked in and in my prime for next season. Thanks to everyone for your support. Happy Pride Month and Go Raiders. “