Carl Nassib, the first out gay man to play in the NFL, announced his retirement from football in a post to Instagram on Wednesday. Nassib, 30, played seven seasons in the NFL with stops in Cleveland, Las Vegas, and twice in Tampa Bay.
“This is a bittersweet moment for me but after seven seasons and just over 100 NFL games I am officially retiring from football to focus on my company Rayze,” Nassib wrote in the post.
Nassib told People that he started considering retirement last season, and he described the decision as difficult.
“This would have been my 23rd football season. I've been playing football since I was eight years old, and I'm really excited to move on to the next chapter of my life.”
Nassib told People he will remain with the NFL in a role yet to be determined but focusing on DEI and philanthropic activities. He also will focus on his app Rayze, which connects people with nonprofits looking for donations and volunteers.
Nassib came out in a video posted to Instagram during Pride Month in 2021.
"What's up people," Nassib said in the Instagram video. "I'm at my house 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 finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends, and job a guy can ask for."
Nassib used the opportunity to donate $100,000 to The Trevor Project, which provides support and advocacy for LGBTQ+ youth at risk for death by suicide.
In an interview last year with Mickey Rapkin of Men's Health, the blunt and notoriously foul-mouthed athlete spoke about his career and the impact he made by coming out.
"I felt really lucky that I could be on a big stage and, like, make a good play while representing the community," Nassib told Rapkin in the exclusive interview. "To be the first out player in a game and then to win. That's sick, that's f*ck*ng cool."
Nassib also revealed he was fearful he might not live up to the expectations placed on his shoulders by being the first out NFL player.
“When I came out," Nassib revealed to Rapkin, “it was like, this is gonna f*ck*ng suck. Because all anyone's gonna remember about me is that I'm gay.”