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Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib wants you to know that he’s gay, becoming the first active NFL player to come out.
Nassib, 28, joined the Raiders in 2020 on a three-year, $25 million free-agent deal. He made his coming-out announcement in an Instagram post on Monday.
“What’s up people?” Nassib posted. “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.”
Check out his video message below.
“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,” Nassib added. “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.”
The Trevor Project provides prevention services for suicidal members of the LGBTQP+ community. Nassib said “They’re an incredible organization, they’re the No. 1 suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America. And they’re truly doing incredible things. And I’m very excited to be a part of it, help in any way that I can and I’m really pumped to see what the future holds.”
As reported by ESPN, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league “is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today.”
“Representation matters,” Goodell said in a statement. “We share his hope that someday soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis told ESPN: “It’s 2021. All the more power to Carl. It doesn’t change my opinion of him as a person or as a Raider.” Coach Jon Gruden added via text message to ESPN: “I learned a long time ago what makes a man different is what makes him great.”
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said “Carl Nassib’s story will not only have a profound impact on the future of LGBTQ visibility and acceptance in sports, but sends a strong message to so many LGBTQ people, especially youth, that they too can one day grow up to be and succeed as a professional athlete like him.”