Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to openly identify as gay.
The announcement came with Pride Month still in full swing. Nassib is a five-year veteran that played with the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before landing in Las Vegas prior to the 2020 campaign.
The 28-year-old has now become a trailblazer in his own right. He took to Instagram to make the announcement along with his efforts to donate $100,000 to The Trevor Project, via ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter:
Raiders DL Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to announce he is gay. “What’s up people,” Nassib posted on IG. “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.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 21, 2021
The Raiders showed their support for Nassib by posting his message, which featured thanks for teammates on Twitter.
Proud of you, Carl 🖤 pic.twitter.com/R9aJxYFefW
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) June 21, 2021
The Trevor Project is a nonprofit group that focuses on suicide prevention efforts among the LGBTQ+ community. Nassib’s donation and revelation will surely help bring attention to those that may be enduring the same struggles.
The Raiders have always been trail blazers in their own right. Tom Flores became the first Latino head coach in the NFL and managed to lead the team to two Super Bowl titles. Meanwhile, Amy Trask was the first woman to hold a chief executive position in 1997.
Defensive lineman Michael Sam was the first to openly identify as gay leading up to when he was taken in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the then-St. Louis Rams. Sam was ultimately cut in training camp before signing with the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad but never managed to play in a regular-season game.
Jason Collins broke the NBA barrier by signing with the Brooklyn Nets after coming out as gay in 2013. Nassib has now carved his own path in the NFL and is hoping to leave a lasting impact.
The former third-round pick out of Penn State signed a three-year, $25 million deal with the Raiders last offseason as part of their efforts to revamp the pass rush. He has registered 20.5 sacks during his career and is looking to etch out an integral role for himself leading up to the 2021 NFL season.