Carl Nassib, a defensive lineman for the Las Vegas Raiders, has entered the history books as the first openly gay active NFL player. The American footballer publicly came out on Monday, June 21, in a heartfelt Instagram post that has racked up over 400,000 likes.
The 28 year-old marked the milestone with a video message saying, “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.”
.@Raiders DE Carl Nassib announced today that he’s gay. He also shared he's donating $100,000 to the @TrevorProject, a suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth.
The NFL family is proud of you, Carl. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/HXbcBuLg2X
— NFL (@NFL) June 21, 2021
He also published a series of text posts giving more context to his story, saying that although he has “agoniSed over this moment for the last 15 years,” he currently is “sitting in a moment of gratitude and relief.”
Nassib goes on to thank those involved in the NFL, including his coaches and teammates, saying “I would not have been able to do this without them. From the jump, I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance.”
Finally, the NFL Star announced that he would be donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project as he was drawn to the charity after learning “about their mission to provide suicide prevention services to the LGBTQ+ community.
“Young LGBTQ kids are over 5x more likely than their straight friends to consider suicide,” he explains. “For someone like me, who has been so lucky and cherishes every day, it brings me incredible sadness to think that our LGBTQ youth are at such an elevated risk for suicide.”
The NFL community is with you, Carl. ? (via @thecheckdown) pic.twitter.com/PovkVGMHTJ
— NFL (@NFL) June 22, 2021
The Raiders number 94 has received an influx of support from the American Football and wider sporting community, with countless athletes, teams, and organisations backing him on social media. Although he is admittedly a “pretty private person”, Carl Nassib acknowledged the importance of “representation and visibility”, and his brave act will undoubtedly offer inspiration, hope, and comfort to many young LGBTQ+ sportspeople.
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