Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib on Monday became the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
“What’s up people?” Nassib posted. “I’m at my house here in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just want 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. 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 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, that’s compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project.”
Reaction to Nassib’s announcement was immediate throughout the NFL and sports world overall. Less than 24 hours after his announcement, he now has the top-selling jersey across fanatics.
In a statement, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league “is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today.”
“Representation matters,” Goodell said. “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.”
James Franklin, Nassib’s former coach at Penn State, said, “Carl’s brave announcement will forge a path for others to be true to their authentic self. I was proud of Carl when he led the nation in sacks, but I’m even more proud of him now.”