WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib announced that he is gay.
- The NFL, his teammates and coaches expressed their support upon his announcement.
- Nassib becomes the first active NFL player to confess as gay.
Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib announced that he is gay ━ becoming the first active player in NFL history to do so.
Nassib made the announcement via Instagram video while staying in his Pennsylvania home.
“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 I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest,” he said.
“I really have the best life. I’ve got 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 really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. 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 and compassionate.”
The former Pennsylvania State walk-on also noted that he was “incredibly thankful” to the league, his teammates and coaches for having his back.
“I would not have been able to do this without them. From the jump, I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance,” he said. “I truly love my life and cannot understand why I have been blessed this much. I feel especially thankful to have had so much support when many who came before — and many even now — do not.”
Nassib also vowed to give a $100,000 donation to the Trevor Project, a group that caters to LGBTQ youth.
In a statement, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced his support for Nassib.
“The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” Goodell said. “Representation matters. 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.”
His former coach and some of his former teammates, including former Penn State teammate and New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley and Penn State coach James Franklin, expressed their support on social media.
Nassib becomes the first player who came out as gay while still actively playing in NFL.
Several NFL players in the past also announced their sexual identity but during retirement, which include former Chiefs and Patriots offensive lineman Ryan O’Callaghan, former Washington tight end Jerry Smith and former Cowboys linebacker Jerry Rohrer.
The 26-year-old athlete is set to have his sixth NFL season and second season with the Raiders. He signed a three-year, $25 million contract with the team last year.