Carl Nassib, a defensive lineman for the Las Vegas Raiders, has become the first active NFL player in league history to come out as gay. The football player, 28, shared his truth in a new Instagram video on June 21, explaining that he has “been meaning to do this for a while now” and “finally [feels] comfortable getting it off my chest.”
In the post, Carl also thanked the NFL and fellow athletes for their support and announced a $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project, a nonprofit focused on suicide prevention efforts among the LGBTQ+ community.
“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 I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest,” Carl said. “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 and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate.”
Carl revealed the in the accompanying slides that he has “agonized” over his coming out for the last 15 years,” but “from the jump, I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance.” The athlete said he was “eager to learn and to help continue the fight for equality.” In a statement released to HollywoodLife, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressed support.
“The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today. Representation matters,” Roger said. “We share his hope that someday soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season.”
Learn more about Carl with the five facts below:
Carl Began His Career With The Cleveland Browns
Carl played college football at Penn State and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, beginning his professional football career. He has also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Carl Just Joined The Raiders Last Year
The athlete signed a three-year contract with the Las Vegas Raiders in March 2020. Over the course of his professional career, he has played 73 games over the span of five NFL seasons. Career highlight statistics include 143 tackles and 20.5 sacks.
Carl Lives In Pennsylvania
The Penn State alum was born and raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania and, per his Instagram video, still resides in the borough in Chester County. Per NBC Philadelphia, Carl played high school football at Malvern Preparatory School prior to attending Penn State, graduating at the latter in 2016.
Carl Comes From A Football Family
Carl is not the only athlete in his family. His father Gilbert Nassib played tight end at the University of Delaware and his brother Ryan Nassib, 31, is a former football quarterback who played for the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars. Carl also has three other siblings, John, Paige, and Carey.
Carl Is A Pet Parent
The athlete is a pet parent to Max and Bailey, two black Border Collie and Husky mixes. He shared a selfie with the fur babies last May on Instagram. “Max and Bailey say do a kind deed for someone,” he wrote.