In a historic first for elite sport in America, the Las Vegas Raiders footballer (American football, for the benefit of our UK readers) Carl Nassib, 28, has come out as gay. The player, now in his sixth professional season, made the announcement in a video posted to his 90,000 followers on Instagram.
In a message that followed his video, Nassib wrote that he had “agonised over this moment for the last 15 years” and felt empowered to come out having received support and encouragement from his friends and family.
He continued, “I am also incredibly thankful for the NFL, my coaches and fellow players for their support,” Nassib posted. “I would not have been able to do this without them. From the jump I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance.”
“If he’s happy, I’m happy”
Las Vegas owner Mark Davis told the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “These are personal decisions. It’s 2021, and he’s a Raider. If he’s happy, I’m happy. It takes courage.
“I thought we got to the point where this wasn’t [a prominent news story]. It doesn’t change my opinion of him as a man or as a Raider.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell added: “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.”
Nassib has pledged to donate $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a charity focused on suicide prevention among LGBTQ+ young people.
Find out more about The Trevor Project.