Las Vegas Raiders’ Carl Nassib comes out as gay

Virgin Radio

22 Jun 2021, 15:36

Last night, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib made history by becoming the first active NFL player to come out as gay.

In video posted on Instagram, which Nassib said he ‘agonized’ over making, the player told fans that he ‘finally felt comfortable enough’ to get the news off his chest. In an accompanying post, Nassib thanked his friends, coaches and fellow NFL players, suggesting that he ‘wouldn’t have been able to do this without them’.

Nassib also looked towards the future in the video, telling fans of his hope that ‘one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary’. He also highlighted the need for representation as a key factor in his decision to come out, suggesting that ‘representation and visibility are so important’.

As a signal of his commitment to ‘cultivating a culture that’s accepting and compassionate’, the star also announced an incredible $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project; a charity which works to prevent suicide amongst LGBTQ+ youth. Commenting on this partnership, and on the fact that LGBTQ+ youth are more than five times as likely than their heterosexual peers to consider suicide, Nassib said that ‘I feel an immense responsibility to help in any way I can’.

The announcement was met with support on social media from many of Nassib’s friends, colleagues and fans, with his friend, mountain climber Cason Crane (the first out gay mountaineer to climb the ‘Seven Summits’; the highest peak in each of the seven continents) posting on Instagram that he was ‘so proud’ of Nassib for ‘taking the brave step of coming out publicly’.

Others who shared their support for the star include sports journalist Taylor Rooks and former player Warren Moon, who expressed his hope that Carl’s announcement ‘lets other athletes know, it’s OK to say who you are…’

The NFL also supported Nassib from their official Twitter account, with commissioner Roger Goodell reminding fans that ‘representation matters’:

Whilst Nassib’s announcement makes strides for representation in NFL, many sportsmen still struggle with announcing their true identities publically, particularly in football. Last weekend Matt Cain spoke to Ryan Atkin, the only out gay man in professional football, on his on

 ‘The work being done around inclusivity for LGBTQ+ is very very difficult, because I think they see a player coming out as the holy grail, but actually football is so much bigger than just players; you’ve got spectators, you’ve got those people that work in the back offices, there’s a whole industry there that really needs to be more open and needs to be more equal for everyone, and if its not welcoming of LGBTQ+, then how do you expect individuals to identify as that?’