Raiders defensive line Carl Nassib on Monday became the first active NFL player to publicly declare himself gay.
“I just want to take a quick moment to say I’m gay,” Nassib said in a video posted to his Instagram account. “Unfortunately, I have been in pain over this moment for the past fifteen years,” he wrote in the same post.
Nassib, A five-year NFL veteran who previously played with the Cleveland Browns and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said he was ultimately “comfortable getting it off my chest.”
Nassib, 28, thanked his coaches, teammates and the NFL for their support.
“I would not have been able to do this without them,” he wrote in his Instagram post.
The Raiders quickly expressed their support for Nassib’s announcement and wrote ‘proud of you, Carl’ in a post it on the team’s Twitter account it also included his original statement. The NFL Official Twitter Account followed, with a message that reads, “The NFL family is proud of you, Carl.”
Nassib’s announcement was made during Pride Month, which is celebrated every June. He said he would donate $ 100,000 to The Trevor project, a non-profit group that focuses on preventing suicide attempts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning teens.
Michael Sam, a defensive linebacker who played college football in Missouri, announced he was gay before being selected in the seventh round of the 2014 draft. The Rams, who then settled in St. Louis was, Sam cut at the end of training camp. The Dallas Cowboys signed him up with their practice squad, but he never played in a regular season game.
Sam’s draft status is seen as a barometer of whether the NFL is ready to accept an openly gay player, especially since the NBA broke the barrier in February 2014 when Jason Collins joined the Nets.
But Sam left the NFL without making an impact on the field.
Nassib, on the other hand, has already played with three teams over five seasons and is under contract until 2022. He played college football in Penn State and was selected by the Browns in the third round in the 2016 draft. He played two seasons in Cleveland before playing two more seasons in Tampa. The Raiders signed him at a three year $ 25 million contract in March 2020.