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Carl Nassib, who plays defensive end for the American football team the Las Vegas Raiders announced that he is gay, becoming the first active member of the National Football League (NFL) to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality.
He made his proclamation in a video posted to Instagram.
“I’m at my house here in West Chester, Pennsylvania,” Nassib, 28, said. “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 enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for.
“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 not necessary, but until then, I am gonna do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting that’s compassionate.”
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June is Pride Month in the United States.
Nassib also announced a $100,000 donation to the Trevor Project.
“They’re an incredible organisation they’re the number one suicide prevention programme for LGBTQ youth in America,” he said.
Entering his sixth NFL season, the 6-foot-7 (201cm) Nassib was a third-round draft pick in 2016 by the Cleveland Browns. He spent two seasons with the Browns (2016-17), followed by two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2018-19) before signing a three-year, $25.3 million contract, including nearly $16.8 million in guarantees, with the Raiders in March 2020.
In 73 career games (37 starts), Nassib has 143 tackles (36 for loss), 20.5 sacks, 16 passes defensed, one interception, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Nassib is on track to become the first openly gay player to play in a regular-season game. Defensive end Michael Sam came out as gay in 2014 before the St Louis Rams drafted him, but he did not make the final roster.