Carl Nassib: NFL lineman becomes first active player to come out as gay

22 June 2021, 05:45 | Updated: 22 June 2021, 05:49

Carl Nassib has become the first active NFL player to come out as gay
Carl Nassib has become the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

NFL defensive lineman Carl Nassib has become the first active player in that sport to come out as gay.

The 28-year-old, who plays for the Las Vegas Raiders, put out an Instagram video to his 61,000 followers to make the announcement.

He said: "I just want to take a quick moment to say that I'm gay.

"I've been meaning to do this for a while, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest."

The sportsman, who filmed the clip at his home in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said he was a "pretty private person" but wanted to speak publicly about his sexuality because "representation and visibility are so important".

The NFL said the sport's "family is proud of you", which was echoed by his team on Twitter.

Nassib, who joined the Raiders in 2020 after stints at the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said he was making a donation to a charity focused on preventing suicide in the LGBT community in the US.

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"I actually hope one day videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary," he said.

"But until then I'm going to do my best to cultivate a culture that's accepting, that's compassionate and I'm going to start by donating 100,000 dollars (£72,000) to The Trevor Project."

His announcement follows Michael Sam, a player who came out as gay ahead of the NFL draft in 2014, but he was cut from the St Louis Rams' roster before the season started.

He did not appear in an NFL game.

American soccer player Robbie Rogers was the first openly gay player across US sports' five main leagues when he came out in 2013.

NBA player Jason Collins came out the same year.