Carl Nassib just made NFL history this Pride Month. The defensive lineman with the Las Vegas Raiders, became the first active NFL player in league history to announce that he is gay.
"What's up, people," Nassib said Monday in a video on Instagram. "I'm Carl Nassib. I'm at my house here in Westchester, 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 I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest," he continued. "I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for."
"I'm a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I'm not doing this for attention," Nassib added. "I just think that representation and visibility are so important. 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."
In his brave video, the 28-year-old, who has played five years with three teams in the NFL and is entering his second season with the Raiders, also pledged to donate $100,000 to The Trevor Project, the number one suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ+ youth in America.
In an accompany statement to his video, Nassib said he "agonized over this moment for the last 15 years" and thanked his family and friends, for standing by his side as he chose to come out publicly. He added that he also has the support of NFL, his coaches and fellow players who have greeted him "with the utmost respect and acceptance."
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The Penn State alum said he now sits in this moment with "gratitude and relief."
"I truly love my life and cannot understand why I have been blessed with so much. I feel especially thankful to have had so much support when many who came before -- and many even now -- do not," he wrote. "I stand on the shoulders of giants, incredible people who paved the way for me to have this opportunity. I do not know all the history behind our courageous LGBTQ community but I am eager to learn and to help continue the fight for quality and acceptance."
In 2014, Michael Sam made became the first openly gay player to be selected in the NFL draft when the St. Louis Rams chose him in the seventh round as the 249th overall pick. The Rams cut Sam just before the season started.
Sam signed with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad but never was on the active roster. He was cut after six weeks. In 2015, he appeared in one game with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League before leaving the team.