On Monday, Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to publicly declare himself gay.
“I just want to take a moment to say I’m gay,” Nassib said in a video posted to his Instagram account. “Unfortunately, I have been plagued by this moment for the last 15 years,” he wrote in the same post.
Nassib, a five-year-old NFL veteran who previously played with the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said he was finally “comfortable getting it off my chest.”
Nassib, 28, thanked his coaches, teammates and the NFL for their support.
“I would not be able to do this without them,” he wrote in his Instagram post.
The Raiders quickly showed their support for Nassib’s announcement and wrote “proud of you, Carl” in a post to the team’s Twitter account, which also included his original statement. The NFL’s official Twitter account followed suit with a message that reads, “The NFL family is proud of you, Carl.”
Nassib’s announcement was made during Pride Month, which was celebrated every June. He said he would donate $ 100,000 to The Trevor Project, a nonprofit group that focuses on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning teens.
Michael Sam, a defensive lineman who played college football in Missouri, announced he was gay before being selected in the seventh round of the 2014 draft. Louis, Sam cut at the end of training camp. The Dallas Cowboys signed him to their training team, but he never played in a regular season.
Sam’s draft status was considered a barometer of whether the NFL was ready to accept an overtly gay player, especially since the NBA broke that barrier in February 2014 when Jason Collins joined the Nets.
But Sam left the NFL without affecting the court.
Nassib, on the other hand, has already played with three teams over five seasons and is under contract through 2022. He played college football in Penn State and was selected in the third round by the Browns in the 2016 draft. He played two seasons in Cleveland before playing further two seasons in Tampa. The Raiders signed him on a $ 25 million three-year contract in March 2020.