Las Vegas Raiders’ Carl Nassib is the first active NFL player to announce he’s gay2

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“What’s up folks,” Nassib said Monday in a video on Instagram. “My name is Carl Nassib. I’m at home here in Westchester, PA. I just wanted to take a little moment to say I’m gay. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now, but I finally feel enough to. comfortable removing it from my chest. “

Nassib, 28, played five years with three teams and is entering his second season with the Raiders. He said in a statement accompanying the video that he was anxious about the decision to announce that he had been gay for 15 years.

Nassib added that he was a private person and did not seek to advertise.

“I just think representation and visibility are so important,” he said. “I actually hope that someday videos like this and the whole release process just won’t be necessary. But until then, I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that accepts , who is compassionate. ”

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell welcomed the announcement.

“The NFL family are proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” Goodell said. “Representation matters. We share his hope that one day soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march towards full equality for the LGBTQ + community. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season. ”

The defensive end was drafted to Penn State by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played for the Browns from 2016 to 2017, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018 and 2019 and was signed by the Raiders as an unrestricted free agent on March 23, 2020.

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Nassib said he was donating $ 100,000 to the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.
Jason Collins, who became the first openly gay NBA player when he adapted for the Brooklyn Nets in 2014, cheered Nassib on social media.
“Very proud of Carl Nassib! Incredibly happy for him and I can’t wait to see him play this coming season!” he tweeted.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said Nassib’s announcement was “a strong message.”

Carl Nassib’s powerful coming out is a historical reflection of the growing state of visibility and inclusion of LGBTQ in the world of professional sport, which has been led by a long list of courageous LGBTQ athletes who l ‘preceded, “Ellis said in a statement. As an accomplished athlete who is now the NFL’s first active gay player, Carl Nassib’s story will not only have a profound impact on the future of LGBTQ visibility and acceptance in sport, but will send a strong message to so many LGBTQ people, especially young people, that they too can one day become and succeed as a professional athlete like him. ”

The Penn State Athletic Department tweeted, “Nittany Nation is so proud of you, Carl.”

Michael Sam came out ahead of the 2014 draft

In 2014, Michael Sam became the first openly gay player to be selected in the NFL Draft when the St. Louis Rams picked him in the seventh round as their 249th overall pick. The Rams cut Sam just before the start of the season.

Sam signed with the Dallas Cowboys practice team but was never on the active roster. It was cut after six weeks.

In 2015, he played in a game with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League before leaving the team.

Steve Almasy of CNN contributed to this report.

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