Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib made a monumental announcement on Monday after coming out as gay, becoming the first player in NFL to do so.
In a league largely typified by jock culture, Nassib’s courageous act was indeed worthy of praise. After getting strong support from the Raiders and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Nassib received a wave of admiration from fellow players, celebrities, and politicians.
New York Giants star Saquon Barkley gave much respect to Nassib, who was picked in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Much respect brudda ✊🏾 https://t.co/1G2ewVOWje
— Saquon Barkley (@saquon) June 21, 2021
Three-time Super Bowl champion Julian Edelman, who’s a big advocate for social equality, said it was an awesome moment for Nassib and his work on the Trevor Project, a non-profit organization helping the LGBTQ+ community.
Awesome moment. Spreading the love to the @TrevorProject very classy move. ❤️ https://t.co/pOWGsvRMUW
— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) June 21, 2021
Another former Super Bowl champion in Ryan Clark also praised Nassib for his brave admission.
Good for you Carl Nassib!! Live your truth brother.
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) June 21, 2021
NFL Hall of Fame member Warren Moon also expressed his support, saying he played with guys who were never comfortable enough to come out as gay. He added sexual preference must never be an issue and reminded everyone that diversity should always be embraced.
As long as they helped us win and were great teammates- their sexual preference was never a issue..
We live in a different time now where diversity is much more accepted. Cheers Carl, and I hope this lets other athletes know, its OK to say who you are…👏🏽
— Warren Moon (@WMoon1) June 22, 2021
Celebrities also showed love to the 28-year-old Nassib, who said he “agonized over this moment for the last 15 years” but now finally felt “comfortable enough to get it off my chest.”
Star Trek legend George Takei, who came out as gay just a few years ago, admired Nassib for speaking out.
It took me until I was in my late 60s to come out. Such is the power of the closet. And I know what it’s like to have the eyes of the world on you when you do finally speak your truth.
Bravo, Carl Nassib. You have tackled a great deal today.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 22, 2021
Sen. Cory Booker also expressed his support, adding Nassib’s leadership would surely help the LGBTQ+ community.
Proud of Carl Nassib for courageously living his truth. Representation matters and this historic moment will help so many LGBTQ+ youth. Thank you, Carl, for your incredible leadership.https://t.co/RXkYhUPKyT
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) June 21, 2021
Carl Nassib, who has a three-year, $25 million contract with the Raiders, is entering his sixth year in the NFL. His historic announcement could be the catalyst for more NFL players to come out as gay and show that every individual has a rightful role in society.