The NFL just had one of its most monumental days in league history as Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib announced he is gay. He became the first active NFL player to do so and ultimately received a significant amount of support from many of his peers around the league.
Of course, it wasn’t just NFL players who sent out their positive reaction to the news, either. Nassib’s head coach, Jon Gruden, also gave a statement in support of his player.
Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib announced he is gay
In a move that can inspire millions, Nassib became the first active player in NFL history to come out as gay.
He made the announcement via Instagram on Monday.
“What’s up people?” Nassib said, per ESPN. “I’m at my house here in West Chester, Pennsylvania. 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. I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends, and job a guy could ask for.”
He continued: “I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that like one day, videos like this and the whole coming-out process are just not necessary.”
Nassib also said that until that day comes, he will do what he can to “cultivate a culture that’s accepting” and “compassionate.” He then revealed that he is donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project, an organization that provides “crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to” LGBTQ youth.
“They’re an incredible organization, they’re the No. 1 suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America,” Nassib said, per ESPN. “And they’re truly doing incredible things. And I’m very excited to be a part of it, help in any way that I can and I’m really pumped to see what the future holds.”
Raiders coach Jon Gruden reacted to the news
Nassib is heading into his second season with Gruden and the Raiders. His coach ultimately shared a strong message in support of his player on Monday.
“I learned a long time ago what makes a man different is what makes him great,” Gruden said, per ESPN’s Paul Guiterrez.
Gruden wasn’t Nassib’s only coach to respond as James Franklin, his college coach at Penn State, also released a statement.
“I am very proud of Carl for his courage and voice,” he said in part of the statement. “This announcement doesn’t surprise me because if you know Carl, you know his strength. Carl’s story continues to add chapters which will have an impact well beyond the field of play.”
Franklin announced that Nassib inspired him and his wife to donate $10,000 to The Trevor Project.
Raiders owner Mark Davis also shared his support for Carl Nassib
In addition to Gruden, another prominent person within the Raiders organization responded to Nassib’s announcement on Monday: owner Mark Davis.
“It’s 2021,” Davis said, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. “All the more power to Carl. It doesn’t change my opinion of him as a person or as a Raider.”
Nassib signed a three-year, $25 million contract with the Raiders in 2020, per Bleacher Report. In his first year with the team, he recorded 28 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, and an interception.
Prior to his Raiders tenure, Nassib played college football at Penn State before going to the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft. He played in Cleveland for two seasons and started in 15 total games before playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018 and 2019. Nassib recorded 6.5 sacks with the Bucs in 2018 before recording 6.0 the next season.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference