Las Vegas Raiders pass-rush specialist, defensive end Carl Nassib just made a brave announcement for Pride Month. "I 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 finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest."
The announcement makes Nassib the first active NFL player to be openly gay. What's great about the selfie video is how casually he mentions something that will have a major effect on the world of sports and the lives of countless LGBTQ youth.
In his announcement, he also said that he's giving $100,000 to The Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization that focuses on suicide prevention programs for LGBTQ youth.
"I'm a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I'm not doing this for attention," he said on Instagram. "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, but until then I will do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that's accepting and compassionate and I'm going to start by donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project."
"They're an incredible organization, they're the number one suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America and they're truly doing incredible things," he continued. "I'm very excited to be a part of it and help in any way that I can and I'm really pumped to see what the future holds."
No openly gay or bisexual player has ever played a down in a regular-season game in the NFL. Openly-gay defensive end Michael Sam was drafted by the then-St. Louis Rams in 2014, but never made the regular-season roster.
Fifteen ex-NFL players have come out after their careers ended.
The Raiders signaled their support for Nassib's announcement in the most Raider way possible, with three black hearts. The organization also tweeted that it's proud of him.
Raiders' owner Mark Davis is supportive of Nassib's decision as well.
"It's 2021," Davis said. "All the more power to Carl. It doesn't change my opinion of him as a person or as a Raider."
Nassib is a six-year veteran who previously played with the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On March 27, 2020, Nassib signed a three-year, $25 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders.
He had a pivotal interception last year in a victory against the Denver Broncos.
He's also made a name for himself as a financial advisor.
'Carl Nassib, Financial Advisor' Ep. 1 Clip | Hard Knocks | HBO www.youtube.com
It'll be interesting to see how accepting the NFL is of its first openly gay player. The league's reaction to Sam coming out of the closet seven years ago was lukewarm at best.
It makes sense for the Las Vegas Raiders to have the first openly gay player. The team has a long history of breaking barriers by hiring the first Black and Hispanic head coaches, a Hispanic starting quarterback, and a female president. The organization was also supportive of players' on-field social justice protests in recent years.
Here's how people are responding on Twitter.
Carl Nassib's vulnerability to be his authentic self and come out in the NFL is beautiful, and I hope the sport tre… https://t.co/O9eNzrubX0— Megan Reyes (@Megan Reyes) 1624312709.0
@atownsquare Carl Nassib is what a true hero looks like. This will have an amazing impact on closeted youth. Being… https://t.co/Rrs5RfblZz— Carpe Diem (@Carpe Diem) 1624316172.0
I can’t speak for Carl Nassib, but it appears that he made this announcement for two reasons. - He felt it was t… https://t.co/ghyoHVlRhJ— Rod BLuhM #D4L (@Rod BLuhM #D4L) 1624316144.0
I think the cool thing about Carl Nassib coming out is that he’ll be on a roster this season. He’s still a solid ed… https://t.co/sg0sVeWXt5— Katelin (@Katelin) 1624316135.0
Carl Nassib, thank you for sharing your truth. You are empowering so many young athletes on so many levels. And you… https://t.co/9vJLoJXRQ9— Yogi Roth (@Yogi Roth) 1624316092.0
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