Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib made history on Monday when he became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib made the announcement on his Instagram account and revealed that he will also be donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project, which is a crisis support service for LGBTQ youth.
Nassib follows in the footsteps of former St. Louis Rams defensive lineman Michael Sam. Sam was the first openly gay player drafted when the Rams selected him in the 2014 NFL Draft. However, Sam never played in a regular-season game in the NFL.
"Just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I'm gay," Nassib said in his announcement video. "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.
"I'm a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know I'm not really 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 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."
Following Nassib's groundbreaking announcement, current and former NFL players coaches, as well as athletes from other sports, took to social media to express their support for the defensive lineman.
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From #Raiders QB Derek Carr, who has reached out to Carl Nassib: “I have often said I love my teammates. I mean it. We always say we are a family in that Raider locker room, and we mean that too. I want to win a championship here with Carl and the rest of our teammates.”— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 22, 2021
Carl Nassib thank you for owning your truth and especially your donation to the @TrevorProject. LBGTQ people are more likely to commit suicide than heterosexuals. I hope and pray people will take note to this. Thank you again Carl and look forward to seeing you play on the field.— Michael Sam (@MichaelSam52) June 22, 2021
Really proud of Carl Nassib. The first active football player to ever do so. I played with several guys who never were comfortable enough to go public. They were great teammates, & obviously very talented.— Warren Moon (@WMoon1) June 22, 2021
Congrats to Carl Nassib on coming out that’s a big step, I think that most players are concerned if you can play or not.— Shawne Merriman (@shawnemerriman) June 21, 2021
The ability to live an authentic life is so important.— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) June 21, 2021
Sending love and support to Carl Nassib of the @Raiders, who has bravely made history as the 1st active NFL player to come out. He has also donated $100K to @TrevorProject.
Representation and visibility matter! 🏳️🌈 https://t.co/E6hSOeIioW