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Carl Nassib of Las Vegas Raiders is first active NFL player to announce he is gay


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Carl Nassib of Las Vegas Raiders is first active NFL player to announce he is gay

By Jill Martin and Steve Almasy, CNN

Updated 11:49 PM ET, Mon June 21, 2021

(CNN) Carl Nassib, a defensive lineman with the Las Vegas Raiders, became the first active NFL player in league history to announce that he is gay.

"What's up, people," Nassib said Monday in a video on Instagram. "I'm Carl Nassib. I'm at my house here in West Chester, Pennsylvania. 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."

Nassib, 28, has played five years with three teams and is entering his second season with the Raiders. He said in a statement accompanying the video that he had agonized over the decision to announce he was gay for 15 years.

Nassib added that he was a private person and wasn't seeking publicity.

"I just think that representation and visibility are so important," he said. "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."

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell lauded the announcement.

"The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today," Goodell said. "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."

The defensive end was drafted out of Penn State by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft. He played for the Browns from 2016-2017, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018 and 2019 and was signed by the Raiders as an unrestricted free agent on March 23, 2020.

Nassib said he was donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth. He wrote in his statement that it saddened him that LGBTQ youth are at an elevated risk for suicide.

Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of The Trevor Project, said the donation will help scale up crisis services.

"The Trevor Project is grateful to Carl Nassib for living his truth and supporting LGBTQ youth," Paley said in a statement emailed to CNN. "Coming out is an intensely personal decision, and it can be an incredibly scary and difficult one to make. We hope that Carl's historic representation in the NFL will inspire young LGBTQ athletes across the country to live their truth and pursue their dreams. 

"At a time when state lawmakers are actively trying to restrict transgender and nonbinary youth's participation in school sports, this news should serve as a clarion call for greater LGBTQ inclusion in the locker room and on the field."

Nassib's decision can have profound impact, LGBTQ organization says

Jason Collins, who became the first openly gay NBA player when he suited up for the Brooklyn Nets in 2014, was cheering Nassib on social media. 

"Very proud of Carl Nassib! Incredibly happy for him and can't wait to watch him play this upcoming season!" he tweeted.

Tennis legend Billie Jean King tweeted her support.

"The ability to live an authentic life is so important," she wrote.

GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said Nassib's announcement was "a strong message."

"Carl Nassib's powerful coming out is a historic reflection of the growing state of LGBTQ visibility and inclusion in the world of professional sports, which has been driven by a long list of brave LGBTQ athletes who came before him," said Ellis in a statement.

"As an accomplished athlete who is now the first out gay active player in the NFL, Carl Nassib's story will not only have a profound impact on the future of LGBTQ visibility and acceptance in sports, but sends a strong message to so many LGBTQ people, especially youth, that they too can one day grow up to be and succeed as a professional athlete like him," the statement said.

Penn State head football coach James Franklin said his former player had a huge heart.

"I am very proud of Carl for his courage and voice. This announcement doesn't surprise me because if you know Carl, you know his strength. Carl's story continues to add chapters which will have an impact well beyond the field of play," he said in a statement. "His care and love for those around him, particularly those in need, has always been obvious. ... Carl's brave announcement will forge a path for others to be true to their authentic self."

The Raiders also tweeted they were proud of Nassib.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon added to the chorus of people proud of him, and the former NFL and CFL quarterback added that he played with some guys who were gay but didn't feel comfortable coming out.

"As long as they helped us win and were great teammates- their sexual preference was never a issue," he wrote on Twitter.

"We live in a different time now where diversity is much more accepted. Cheers Carl, and I hope this lets other athletes know, its OK to say who you are."

Nassib says players' support helped him

In his Instagram statement, Nassib thanked family and friends. He also thanked the league, his coaches and other players.

"I would not have been able to do this without them," he wrote. "From the jump, I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance."

Nassib wrote that he was standing on the shoulders of people who paved the way.

"I do not know all the history behind our courageous LGBTQ community," he said, "but I am eager to learn and to help continue the fight for equality and acceptance."

Michael Sam came out before 2014 draft

In 2014, Michael Sam became the first openly gay player to be selected in the NFL draft when the St. Louis Rams chose him in the seventh round as the 249th overall pick. The Rams cut Sam just before the season started.

Sam signed with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad but never was on the active roster. He was cut after six weeks.

In 2015, he appeared in one game with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League before leaving the team.

Other NFL players have come out after they retired, including former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jeff Rohrer, who married Joshua Ross in 2018.

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Meanwhile the UEFA is forbidding Munich to show the pride lights in the stadium. 

I hate football moguls. Bunch of mediocre white privilege men.

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13 hours ago, karbatal said:

Meanwhile the UEFA is forbidding Munich to show the pride lights in the stadium. 

I hate football moguls. Bunch of mediocre white privilege men.

UEFA and FIFA = MAFIA

Fortunately Stadiums all over Europe are now lit in the rainbow flag as a result.

3956ccf0-d356-11eb-b07d-02b7b76bf47f.jpg

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18 hours ago, karbatal said:

Meanwhile the UEFA is forbidding Munich to show the pride lights in the stadium. 

I hate football moguls. Bunch of mediocre white privilege men.

Exactly. What a joke. And Hungary??? I m fuming!!! Orban must be stopped. He is deranged!

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On 6/23/2021 at 3:46 PM, karbatal said:

I hope the rule of law applies and they don't get a single euro from the recovery fund. 

It appears Hungary has really crossed the line too far this time. Western Europe, Southern Europe and the Baltic States are really pissed off. The Dutch prime minister even said Hungary should leave the EU if they no longer respect the laws and rules they once accepted when entering the EU. Of course, all Eastern EU members are quiet.

It becomes more and more obvious that certain countries only see the EU as an organization that pumps billions of Euros in subsidies into their countries but are no longer interested in the basic principles of the EU. Since there is no possibility to kick a member out (the founders were so innocent to believe that all members are part of it for the best interest of all members), the only solution is to dissolve the EU as we know it and form a new one. Maybe this threat alone will make some countries re-think. Because where do they want go? Hungary and Poland as a Russian ally. They hate Russia even more than the rest of Europe because of their past. Well, they could make a trade deal with the UK. I'm sure that will work fine. Not.

I wish the EU would finally start penalizing those anti democratic countries. But there are so many insane things regarding the EU. Why is the EU transfering billions in Euros to possible future members in Eastern Europe and Turkey to promote democracy? If they want to be a member of the EU and the benefits of this very exclusive club they should work these things out on there own. And Turkey, really? They will never become a member of the EU. What a waste of money. 

 

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3 hours ago, Raider of the lost Ark said:

It appears Hungary has really crossed the line too far this time. Western Europe, Southern Europe and the Baltic States are really pissed off. The Dutch prime minister even said Hungary should leave the EU if they no longer respect the laws and rules they once accepted when entering the EU. Of course, all Eastern EU members are quiet.

It becomes more and more obvious that certain countries only see the EU as an organization that pumps billions of Euros in subsidies into their countries but are no longer interested in the basic principles of the EU. Since there is no possibility to kick a member out (the founders were so innocent to believe that all members are part of it for the best interest of all members), the only solution is to dissolve the EU as we know it and form a new one. Maybe this threat alone will make some countries re-think. Because where do they want go? Hungary and Poland as a Russian ally. They hate Russia even more than the rest of Europe because of their past. Well, they could make a trade deal with the UK. I'm sure that will work fine. Not.

I wish the EU would finally start penalizing those anti democratic countries. But there are so many insane things regarding the EU. Why is the EU transfering billions in Euros to possible future members in Eastern Europe and Turkey to promote democracy? If they want to be a member of the EU and the benefits of this very exclusive club they should work these things out on there own. And Turkey, really? They will never become a member of the EU. What a waste of money. 

 

Once a European Parliament member who was really veteran and had worked hand in hand with Giscard d'Estein told me that one of the main reasons to expand the EU further and further East was Germany's goal to put the frontiers as farther as possible from themselves.

I have no idea if that was true. 

In my opinion though, being Spaniard, I'm all for giving more countries the opportunity to join. For us it was such an incredible opportunity back in 1985 to become part of the EU. 

It's true though that certain policies should start being competence of Brussels. It's time for a new treaty where civil rights are included. Just the fact that I'm married in Spain but if I travel to my husband's country, EU member too, I'm not married, it's an absurdity that is only allowed because of plain homophobia from the EU leaders themselves.

 

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7 hours ago, karbatal said:

Once a European Parliament member who was really veteran and had worked hand in hand with Giscard d'Estein told me that one of the main reasons to expand the EU further and further East was Germany's goal to put the frontiers as farther as possible from themselves.

I have no idea if that was true. 

In my opinion though, being Spaniard, I'm all for giving more countries the opportunity to join. For us it was such an incredible opportunity back in 1985 to become part of the EU. 

It's true though that certain policies should start being competence of Brussels. It's time for a new treaty where civil rights are included. Just the fact that I'm married in Spain but if I travel to my husband's country, EU member too, I'm not married, it's an absurdity that is only allowed because of plain homophobia from the EU leaders themselves.

 

So true. But The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union does exist since Lisbon treaty: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/government_in_ireland/european_government/eu_law/charter_of_fundamental_rights.html

it’s plainly obviously Hungary has infringed many of those with their new “law”. And I agree with you: BG has to be forced to accept gay marriages or risk being thrown out like most of the Eastern EU members… it’s too much Russian propaganda for family values here. Yet Sofia pride was attended by 10000 ppl while the protest for traditional family by 100. 

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4 hours ago, elijah said:

So true. But The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union does exist since Lisbon treaty: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/government_in_ireland/european_government/eu_law/charter_of_fundamental_rights.html

it’s plainly obviously Hungary has infringed many of those with their new “law”. And I agree with you: BG has to be forced to accept gay marriages or risk being thrown out like most of the Eastern EU members… it’s too much Russian propaganda for family values here. Yet Sofia pride was attended by 10000 ppl while the protest for traditional family by 100. 

Good on Bulgarian LGBT people.😄😄😄😄👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

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