Carl Nassib, a defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, made history this week when he became the first active NFL player to announce that he is gay.
Nassib made the announcement via Instagram on Monday, including a video in which the 28-year old shared, “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 I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest.” In the caption posted along with the video, Nassib wrote, “Sadly, I have agonized over this moment for the last 15 years.” He goes on to say his friends, family, coaches and fellow NFL players have all been very accepting and supportive over the years as Nassib worked up to the moment of publicly coming out.
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The NFL immediately released a statement of support for both Nassib and the LGBT+ community from Commissioner Roger Goodell, saying “The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today. 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.”
Along with his personal announcement, Nassib also told fans he was making a $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization that works to assist LGBT+ youth in their journeys and prevent suicides in the young LGBT+ community. “I just think that representation and visibility are so important,” he said. “I actually hope 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.”