Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib has become the first active NFL player in history to announce he is gay.
“What’s up folks,” Nassib posted on Instagram. “I am at home in West Chester, PA. I just wanted to take a moment to say I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable pulling it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, the best friends, and the best job a guy could ask for.
“I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you know I’m not doing this for attention. I just think representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that someday videos like this and the whole release process won’t be necessary, but until then I’ll do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that accepts and cares and I will start by donating $ 100,000 to The Trevor Project. It’s an amazing organization, it’s the number one suicide prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America and they really do amazing things. I’m very excited to be a part of it and to help in any way I can and I’m really excited to see what the future holds.
On the Instagram post, the Raiders tweeted a heart emoji (in silver and black, which is appropriate), showing that the team supports Nassib and that his announcement came as no shock.
Nassib, 28, is entering his sixth season in the NFL, his second with the Raiders after stints with the Browns and Buccaneers. He has 20.5 career sacks. He played in college for Penn State (where I’m a proud alumnus).
No openly active gay or bi player has ever played an NFL regular season game. There have been 15 players who came out after playing, or in Michael Sam’s case in 2014, were out after being drafted but never made a roster.
This story will be updated.