Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib became the first active National Football League (NFL) player to come out as gay.
“I just want 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,” Nassib announced in a video posted on Instagram on June 21.
In a statement accompanying the video, Nassib said he had “agonized over this moment for the last 15 years.”
“I just think that representation and visibility are so important,” Nassib said, adding that he considers himself a private person and that his coming out was not for publicity.
“I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate,” Nassib further said, announcing that he will donate $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) youth.
“I am eager to learn and to help continue the fight for equality and acceptance,” Nassib said.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement that the league was “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,” Goodell said.
The Nassib has played five NFL seasons with three teams. He is entering his second season with the Raiders.
Other NFL players have come out as gay after retiring, but none have done so while actively playing.
© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.