Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib has become the first active National Football League (NFL) player to come out as gay, and he’s making a U.S.$100,000 donation to The Trevor Project in conjunction with his announcement.
Nassib made the announcement in an Instagram post on June 21 after he said he agonized about coming out for the last 15 years.
“I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest,” Nassib said in the video. “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. 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 is also looking to raise awareness and funds for The Trevor Project, an organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth under the age of 25. The Trevor Project was founded in 1998 by the creators of an Academy Award-winning short film titled Trevor.
The NFL announced that it will match Nassib’s $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released this statement:
“The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today. Representation matters. 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.”
June is Pride Month and the Raiders tweeted “Proud of you, Carl” on the team’s Twitter feed. Other NFL teams, players and former players also expressed support for Nassib, as did United States President Joe Biden, gay actor George Takei and many others.
While Nassib wasn’t a high-profile player before his announcement, his number 94 Raiders jersey has become the top seller on the Fanatics website, which is an official partner for selling merchandise for a number of sports organizations, including the NFL, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League.