Carl Nassib plays defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, and in an Instagram video posted on June 22, 2021 he came out as a gay man. This historic moment marks the first time an active player in the National Football League (NFL) has come out, reports ABC News.
Although Nassib wouldn’t be the first NFL player to be openly gay, he is the first to come out after being drafted. The defensive end has played 73 games for three teams in his five NFL seasons. In his Instagram video Nassib states that he came out after 15 years of agonising over the decision. With the help of his family and friends he made the decision to make the video and announce his sexuality to the rest of the world.
In his brief statement, the football player committed to donating $USD100,000 to The Trevor Project. Nassib says, “Young LGBTQ kids are over five-times more likely than their straight friends to consider suicide… it brings me incredible sadness to think that our LGBTQ youth are at such an elevated risk.”
Nassib’s coming out video was accompanied by four slides of notes where he outlines the importance of representation and gives thanks for support he has been shown.
“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 [and] compassionate,” he says.
“I feel especially thankful to have had so much support when many who came before, and many even now, do not… I do not know all the history behind our corageous LGBTQ community, but I am eager to learn and to help continue the fight for equality and acceptance.”