Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out as gay Monday night.
Nassib made the announcement on Instagram and also said that he would donate $ 100,000 to The Trevor project, an organization focused on suicide prevention efforts in the LGBTQ + community.
News of Nassib’s announcement quickly spread through the NFL and was quickly met with positive messages from players, teams and executives. That included some candid comments from Raiders owner Mark Davis.
“It’s 2021,” Davis said, according to ESPN’s Paul Gutiérrez. “More power for Carl. It doesn’t change my opinion of him as a person or as a Raider. “
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The NFL also issued an official statement saying they were “proud” of him.
“The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” the statement read. “Representation matters. We share your hope that one day statements like yours will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ + community. We wish Carl the best of luck in the upcoming season.”
Here are some of the other Twitter messages that came through in support of Nassib, including posts from the Raiders, the NFL, and former Nassib college teammate Saquon Barkley.
Congratulations to Carl Nassib for coming out of the closet, it’s a big step, I think most players are concerned if you can play or not.
– Shawne Merriman (@shawnemerriman) June 21, 2021
Carl Nassib’s announcement on his IG page included this note which was particularly compelling, especially for those who may come across this news with “what’s the problem / why does it matter?” pic.twitter.com/o1lQLoSqSa
– Mike Golic Jr (@mikegolicjr) June 21, 2021
Anyone who thinks this wouldn’t have happened in the old days of the NFL should probably Google Harold Lombardi. Vince’s brother, who was gay, and Vince Lombardi told their players more than once that if he heard any homophobic insults from them, they would leave.
– Doug Farrar (@NFL_DougFarrar) June 21, 2021
Big successes for Carl Nassib. That has to be tough. Holding something like that for so long.
– Crocky⚡️ (@eric_crocker) June 21, 2021
Good for you Carl Nassib !! Live your truth brother.
– Ryan Clark (@ Realrclark25) June 21, 2021
That said, at least one player doesn’t want people to forget about Michael Sam, another pioneer at the NFL level.
Michael Sam, don’t let Carl Nassib steal your glitter, you were here first
– Carlos Jaime II (@CJDeuce_) June 21, 2021
Sam came out gay before the 2014 NFL Draft and was selected in the seventh round by the Rams. However, he did not make the team’s 53-man roster as a rookie, so he was never on an active NFL roster.