When Carl Nassib takes the field during tonight’s Monday Night Football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, he will make history as the first out gay player ever to play in a regular-season NFL game. But just who is Carl Nassib and how did he get to this place in history and his career?
After high school, he attended Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) in University Park, Pennsylvania, and won a spot on the team as a walk-on on their football squad. He quickly realized his potential on the field and by his senior season was a unanimous All-American and was selected as the Big Ten Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year. In the same season, he was also selected as the nation’s top defensive end (the Hendricks Award) and the best lineman or linebacker (Lombardi Award).
Nassib was drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the 65th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was waived after the 2018 season and was immediately claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the two seasons he played for the Buccaneers, he recorded 12.5 sacks while starting 17 games.
In 2020, Nassib signed with the Las Vegas Raiders for $25 million with $16.75 of the contract guaranteed.
He currently is listed at 6 feet, 7 inches tall, and weighing 275 pounds, and plays the defensive end position with the Las Vegas Raiders. He is listed as number two in the depth chart. Even though he will not start, he will see significant action throughout the game due to the situational rotation used by all teams. He lines up on the outside edge of the defensive line, where his responsibilities include rushing the quarterback, stopping opposing rushers, and sometimes dropping back to cover potential receivers.
Nassib revealed he was gay in a post on Instagam during Pride Month. He donated $100,000 to The Trevor Project, the advocacy and support organization for LGBTQ+ youth at risk for death by suicide, and the NFL immediately matched his donation.
Nassib keeps a low profile off the field in his personal life with relatively few posts to social media. However, there is hope, newbie NFL fans, because he is apparently single!