Back in 2021, Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib announced on social media that he was a gay man. He became one of the first active NFL players to come out publicly.
Nearly one year later, he is not speaking out as to why he decided to come out of the closet.
“I stared at the phone for like an hour, just looking at it and trying to hype myself up,” he said of the moments leading up to his announcement on social media in an interview on Good Morning America. “The last thing I said was, ‘You know what, for the kids.'”
The free agent DE explained to GMA’s Michael Strahan he told close friends and family members years ago, but soon thought it was important to “stay ahead of the narrative” and “own the story” by coming out in public.
“I came out to my close friends and family years ago. And I wanted to do it publicly because I wanted to stay ahead of the narrative,” he said. “I just wanted to own the story and make sure I did it on my terms. One of my biggest fears was that I would only be remembered for being gay.”
The 29-year-old said he received “the most incredible support” from his Raiders teammates in the wake of his message.
Michael Sam came out in 2014 prior to the NFL draft and was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round. However, he did not appear in a regular-season game with the Rams or Dallas Cowboys.
Nassib was released by the Raiders this offseason.
He appeared in 13 games as a rotational defender for the Raiders last season, recording 21 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and one forced fumble.