10 Best Moments From Carl Nassib's Historic NFL Season
Carl Nassib kicked open the door for many gay athletes this past NFL season!
The NFL season is over and what a season it was for both the league and the LGBTQ+ community with Las Vegas defensive end Carl Nassib becoming the league's first active, out gay player signed to a regular-season contract. The impact was widespread, changing the way the NFL communicates with the LGBTQ+ community and making the locker room a safer space for out athletes.
"What's up people," Nassib said in the now-famous 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 stressed in his coming out video that he was a "pretty private person" and made clear folks knew he wasn't doing it for attention.
"I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are not necessary, but until then I will do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that's accepting and compassionate and I'm going to start by donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project," Nassib continued. "They're an incredible organization, they're the number one suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ+ youth in America and they're truly doing incredible things. I'm very excited to be a part of it and help in any way that I can and I'm really pumped to see what the future holds."
"It was incredible," Nassib said of the response. "I thought nobody would care. But it was just such a good feeling to have all that support. I was glad to do my part to help bring visibility and representation to my community."
Nassib also revealed he is not the biggest fan of press conferences, admitting he was "anxious" at the attention he was receiving.
"But now, I just wanted to get this [press conference] over with, wanted to move on."
Hall of Fame former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin delivered a moving speech discussing the significance of Nassib's coming out at the popular awards ceremony.
"Years ago, when I learned my brother Vaughn was gay, news like that would have been a 'stop the presses' kind of moment," Irvin said of Nassib's coming out. "Instead, it was greeted warmly and widely by the NFL family and the world at large. But we cannot underestimate what that single message meant to countless athletes and other members of the community, who have long hid their true selves out of fear."
Stressful But Worth It
Earlier this month in his first public comments since the NFL season ended, Nassib said coming out was stressful but ultimately worth the effort. In a video posted to social media by Nassib and the Raiders, he also thanked the team for matching his donation of $100,00 to The Trevor Project, which supports LGBTQ+ youth at risk of death by suicide.
"That was a really exciting day for me," Nassib said in the video. "I had wanted to do it for a really long time. I wanted to be in a place where I felt totally comfortable, totally confident to really give a voice to people that needed it the most."