Carl Nassib # 94 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates a 31-26 win over the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on November 08, 2020 in Inglewood, California.
Harry How | Getty Images
Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib announced on Monday that he is gay and will be the first player in an active National Football League roster to come out.
“I just wanted to say briefly that I’m gay,” said Nassib in an Instagram post. “I’ve wanted to do this for a while, but I’m finally feeling good about getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, the best friends, and the best job anyone could ever want.”
Nassib also announced that he is donating $ 100,000 to The Trevor Project, a nonprofit that provides suicide and crisis prevention services to LGBTQ youth.
“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know I’m not doing this for attention. I just think representation and visibility are so important, ”Nassib said in the post. “I actually hope that one day such videos and the whole coming-out process will no longer be necessary, but until then I’ll do my best and my part to foster an accepting and compassionate culture.”
Nassib, 28, is entering his sophomore year with the Raiders and sixth season in the NFL. In 2015, he was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year at Penn State.
“The NFL family is proud that Carl bravely shares his truth today. Representation counts. We share his hope that statements like his will one day be no longer newsworthy as we march towards full equality for the LGBTQ + community. We wish Carl the best of luck in the coming season, “said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement.
In 2014, Michael Sam became the first openly gay player to be selected in the NFL draft when the St. Louis Rams voted him in the seventh round. Sam was cut just before the start of the regular season.
Jason Collins, now retired, became the first active openly gay NBA player in 2013. Two weeks earlier this year, Brittney Griner of the WNBA came out as a lesbian.