Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib made history as the first-ever active NFL player to openly identify as gay.
Nassib’s announcement has been met with tremendous support from around the league and even President Joe Biden. Revealing the news during Pride Month has been praised as a courageous move on his part.
Quarterback Derek Carr was among those that reached out to Nassib following his revelation. Carr says he offered up his full support for his teammate and is looking forward to working toward a championship alongside him, via Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk:
“I have often said I love my teammates,” Carr said. “I mean it. We always say we are a family in that Raider locker room, and we mean that too. I want to win a championship here with Carl and the rest of our teammates.”
The reaction to Nassib’s news has been overwhelmingly positive. His No. 94 jersey even became a top-seller across the Fanatics network.
Of course, the discussion has automatically shifted to how Nassib’s sexuality will sit within the locker room of a hyper-masculine sport like football. Fortunately, Carr’s comments indicate that it will be just another day at the office in their attempts to make the playoffs.
There is no question that having such full-fledged support from the top-down goes a long way in helping to erase the stigma that still plagues sports. Nassib’s announcement also came with a pledge to donate $100,000 to The Trevor Project, which is a nonprofit group that focuses on suicide prevention efforts within the LGBTQ+ community.
Nassib signed a three-year, $25 million deal with the Raiders last offseason in their efforts to beef up the pass rush. He is looking to play an integral role as part of this revamped group led by defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.