June represents LGBTQ pride month around the world, and it appears that an NFL player has taken that opportunity to change the landscape. Carl Nassib of the Las Vegas Raiders came out on an Instagram post on Monday, making him the first openly gay active NFL player in the history of the league.
In the process, Nassib committed to donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project — a non-profit organization focused on suicide prevention efforts within the LGBTQ communities.
“What’s up people. I’m at my house in West Chester Pennsylvania. 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 finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for,” Nassib said on Instagram.
“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are not necessary, but until then I will do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project. They’re an incredible organization, they’re the number one suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America.”
To say that Carl Nassib coming out of monumental in the sports world would be an understatement. For far too often, those who have starred find themselves forced to hide their sexual identities and/or orientations.
Back in 2014, then NFL Draft prospect Michael Sam came out as gay during his days with the Missouri Tigers. Sam ultimately went in the seventh round of the draft that year, but never appeared in a game during offseason stints with the Rams and Dallas Cowboys.
This just goes to show us how things have changed around the football world over the past several years. While equality is still missing on many fronts, Carl Nassib changes the dynamics in a big way.
Nassib, 28, was a third-round pick of the Cleveland Browns back in 2016. He’s just now entering his second year as a member of the Las Vegas Raiders and has recorded 20.5 sacks in five NFL seasons.
As for the NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell released this supportive statement following Nassib’s announcement.
“The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” Goddell wrote. “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. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season.”