Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib made history Monday by coming out as the first active openly gay NFL player. Nassib made the announcement in an Instagram post. “I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in a video recording. “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for.
“I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I’m not doing this for attention. 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.”
Nassib added that he is donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, which he called “the No. 1 suicide prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America.” Nassib, 28, is a five-year NFL veteran who was selected in the third round of the 2016 draft by the Cleveland Browns. He played college football at Penn State. Nassib is entering his second season as a backup defensive end for the Raiders and spent 2018-19 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He appeared in 14 games last season, including five as a starter. He has 20 1/2 career sacks. Nassib could become the first openly gay player to play in an NFL regular-season game. Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam came out in 2014 before being selected in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams, but he did not make the cut for the final 53-man roster. Several NFL players have come out after they retired.
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.