Las Vegas Raiders’ Carl Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

On Monday, Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player in league history to come out as gay. The 28-year-old Nassib made the announcement with a post on Instagram:”What’s up, people? I’m at my house here in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just want 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. I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for. I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think representation and visibility are so important.” Nassib also pledged $100,000 to the Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention services to the LGBTQ+ community.

The Raiders organization responded to Nassib’s Instagram post with a tweet that read: “Proud of you, Carl,” and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement declaring that “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.”

Nassib spent his first two NFL seasons with the Browns before joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018. He played two years for the Bucs, notching a career-best 6 1/2 sacks in the 2018 campaign. Nassib signed a three-year, $25 million contract with the Raiders in March 2020. He recorded 28 total tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, one interception and five passes defensed in 14 games for the Raiders last season, his first in Las Vegas.

Editorial credit: Chris Rubino /