Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib made history on Monday when he became the first active NFL player to come out as gay, sharing the news on Instagram.
"I've been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest," he said. Nassib, 28, added that he is 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."
Nassib said he is hopeful 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, that's compassionate, and I'm going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project." The Trevor Project is a suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth.
Before joining the Raiders in 2020, Nassib played with the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Raiders retweeted a longer message Nassib wrote about coming out, captioning it "Proud of you, Carl," and Raiders owner Mark Davis told ESPN: "It's 2021. All the more power to Carl. It doesn't change my opinion of him as a person or as a Raider."
In 2014, Michael Sam became the first openly gay player drafted in NFL history, but was cut at the end of the Rams' training camp and did not play in a regular-season NFL game.