Defensive lineman Carl Nassib of the Las Vegas Raiders has become the first active NFL player to publicly come out as gay.
The 28-year-old made the announcement in a video on his Instagram account, which has almost 61,000 followers.
Nassib said “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest.”
The player also announced that he was donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project a charity focused on suicide prevention in the LGBT community in the US.
What did Carl Nassib say?
Carl Nassib told his social media followers: "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 I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest.”
"I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for."
Nassib added: "I'm a pretty private person so I hope that 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 one day videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary, but until then I'm going to do my best to cultivate a culture that's accepting and compassionate."
“But until then I’m going to do my best to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate and I’m going to start by donating 100,000 dollars (£72,000) to The Trevor Project.”
Who is Carl Nassib?
Carl Nassib currently plays in the NFL as a defensive lineman for the Las Vegas Raiders.
Drafted in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns he has also previously played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In 2020 he recorded 2.5 sacks and 20 assisted tackles for his current team.
During his two years with the Buccanneers he recorded an impressive 12.5 sacks.
Which other NFL players have come out as gay?
Nassib’s announcement follows defensive end Michael Sam coming out as gay ahead of the NFL draft in 2014. Sam was subsequently drafted by the St Louis Rams in the seventh round but cut from their roster before the season began.
Wade Davis, Kwame Harris, David Kopay, Ray McDonald, Ryan O’Callaghan, Jeff Rohrer, Ryan Russell, Roy Simmons and Esera Tuaolo have all come out as gay since retiring as NFL football players.
Former Washington Redskins tight end Jerry Smith came out to friends and family following his retirement in 1978. He was diagnosed with HIV in 1986, a diagnosis which he revealed to the public via the Washington Post, though he never publicly acknowledged that he was gay.
Colton Underwood was a practice squad member for the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles but never played in the league – he came out as gay in 2021.