Carl Nassib, a defensive lineman for the Las Vegas Raiders, came out as the NFL’s first openly gay active player Monday.
The 28-year-old made the announcement in an Instagram video.
“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. I really have the best life, 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 not doing this for attention,” he 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 not necessary, but until then I will do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate.”
Nassib also announced a $100,000 donation to the nonprofit Trevor Project. “They’re an incredible organization, they’re the No. 1 suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America,” he said.
While a number of NFL players have come out as gay after their playing careers were over, Nassib is the first active-roster NFL player to do so. Michael Sam famously came out as gay in 2014 before the NFL Draft, but did not make the then-St. Louis Rams’ regular-season active roster.
Nassib played in college at Penn State, and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2016. He also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before signing a three-year, $25 million contract with the Raiders in 2020. In five NFL seasons, he’s recorded 20.5 sacks.
While on the Browns, Nassib gained notoriety for a profane lesson to teammates about the power of compound interest during an episode of HBO’s behind-the-scenes show “Hard Knocks.”
He later shared his personal financial rules with CNBC, stressing living on a strict budget and saving for the future, saying index funds are a great long-term investment.
The Raiders and the NFL threw their support behind Nassib on Monday
“Proud of you, Carl,” the Raiders’ official Twitter account tweeted.
In a statement, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell agreed, saying “The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today. Representation matters.”
A number of NFL teams and players also expressed their support, including Nasib’s onetime Penn State teammate Saquon Barkley: