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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell offered his support to Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib, who made history on Monday when he became the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
“The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” Goodell said in a statement. “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 came out in a video he shared to Instagram, in which he also said he would be donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project, a leading LGBTQ+ charity aimed at combatting the high rates of suicide among queer kids and young adults.
“I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said.. “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 I’m not doing this for attention, but I think representation matters.”
In addition to Goodell’s statement, other players, coaches, and fans across the country sent out their messages of thanks and congratulations to Nassib.
James Franklin, who coached Nassib at Penn State, as well as Saquon Barkley, who was Nassib’s teammate with the Nittany Lions, both said they were proud of his statement.
— James Franklin (@coachjfranklin) June 22, 2021
Much respect brudda ✊🏾 https://t.co/1G2ewVOWje
— Saquon Barkley (@saquon) June 21, 2021
Several other teams, players, and former players around the league also came out in support of Nassib.
Good for you Carl.
Glad you feel comfortable enough to share and hopefully someday these types of announcements will no longer be considered breaking news. https://t.co/eevr8cgRay
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) June 22, 2021
— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) June 21, 2021
Good for you Carl Nassib!! Live your truth brother.
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) June 21, 2021
Our union supports Carl and his work with the Trevor Project is proof that he – like our membership – is about making his community and this world a better place not for themselves, but for others. https://t.co/jJImZlEkqc
— DeMaurice Smith (@demauricesmith) June 22, 2021
Much love to a member of our NFL family. 💙💚 https://t.co/yMgAo9EPOl
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) June 22, 2021
some things are bigger than a rivalry 💙 https://t.co/cO8rHtVxip
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) June 21, 2021
Like Goodell said, someday, statements like Nassib’s will no longer be newsworthy, but until then, it’s important for the league to support its players who are out.
Nassib is the first active NFL player to come out as gay, but he will not be the last.