Raiders DE Carl Nassib becomes first openly gay NFL player

FILE PHOTO: Nov 8, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib (94) celebrates at the end of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Nassib became the first openly gay active football player in NFL history Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Nov 8, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib (94) celebrates at the end of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Nassib became the first openly gay active football player in NFL history Monday. (Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports)


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LAS VEGAS (Reuters) — Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib announced Monday that he is gay, making him the first active NFL player to acknowledge his homosexuality.

He made his proclamation in a video posted to Instagram.

"I'm at my house here in West Chester, Pennsylvania," Nassib, 28, said. "I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I'm gay. I've been meaning to do this for a while now but 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 can 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 not necessary, but until then I am gonna do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that's accepting that's compassionate."

June is Pride Month.

Nassib also announced a $100,000 donation to the Trevor Project, which works to prevent suicides among LGBTQ youth in America.

"The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement from the league. "Representation matters. 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."

Entering his sixth NFL season, the 6-foot-7 Nassib was a third-round draft pick in 2016 by the Cleveland Browns. He spent two seasons with the Browns (2016-17), followed by two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2018-19) before signing a three-year, $25.3 million contract, including nearly $16.8 million in guarantees, with the Raiders in March 2020.

In 73 career games (37 starts), Nassib has 143 tackles (36 for loss), 20.5 sacks, 16 passes defensed, one interception, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Nassib is on track to become the first openly gay player to play in a regular-season game. Defensive end Michael Sam came out as gay in 2014 before the St. Louis Rams drafted him, but he did not make the final roster.

--Field Level Media

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021

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Reuters

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