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Carl Nassib becomes 1st active NFL player to come out as gay with historic IG announcement

Raiders, Carl Nassib

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib is officially the first active NFL player to announce that he is gay.

Just in time for the ongoing celebration of Pride Month, Nassib took it to Instagram to make the announcement. He posted a statement alongside a video of him making the revelation, noting that while he wanted to do it for some time already, it is only now that he felt most comfortable doing it.

“What’s up people,” the Raiders’ defensive lineman said on his video announcement, per Boston Globe. “I’m at my house in West Chester Pennsylvania. 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. 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 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.”

Here is Carl Nassib’s Instagram post:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Carl Nassib (@carlnassib)

Drafted 65th overall in the third round in 2016, Nassib played for two different teams (Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers) before finding a new home in Las Vegas with the Raiders.

He signed a lucrative three-year, $25 million deal with the Raiders in 2020. Starting in five games out of 14 in his first season with the team, he recorded 2.5 sacks and 28 combined tackles.

Nassib’s announcement is truly huge and a massive step for other athletes to lose their fear of coming out. After all, given that the Raiders DE is the first to do it, it shows how some athletes are afraid of being openly gay.

As the Raiders vet said it, his hope in coming out is to encourage more people–athlete or not–to be comfortable with their sexuality and identity. Of course, there is still a long way to go, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.