Raiders’ DE Carl Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 15: Carl Nassib #94 of the Las Vegas Raiders flexes while smiling during warmups before a game against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) (Ethan Miller, 2020 Getty Images)

Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib became the NFL’s first active player to announce that he is gay during an Instagram video on Monday afternoon.

Nassib also announced that he was donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ+ youth.

“I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in a video.

“I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for. I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know I’m really not doing this for attention, I just think representation and visibility are so important.”

Unlike former NFL player Michael Sam, who came out prior to the NFL draft and never played a regular season game, Nassib is entering his sixth season in the league.

He has played for the Browns and Buccaneers, too. Nassib has 143 tackles, 20.5 sacks and an interception in his career. He said in his video that he hopes that announcements about sexuality eventually become a non-newsworthy item.

Nassib’s brother, quarterback Ryan, was briefly a member of the Jaguars in 2017.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.