Carl Nassib has become the first active NFL player to announce that he is gay. The Las Vegas Raiders defensive end made the announcement via an Instagam video on Monday.
"What’s up, people? I’m Carl Nassib. I’m at my house here in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” he 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 got 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 really not doing this for attention. 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'm going to do my best, and do my part to cultivate a culture that is accepting, that is compassionate..."
The 28-year-od added that he is donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention service for LGBTQ Youth.
Nassib was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2016. He joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018 and the Raiders last year, signing a three-year $25.3m contract.
In a statement which followed his video announcement, Nassib said he has been thinking about coming out for 15 years.
"Hey everyone, happy Pride Month. Right now, I am sitting in a moment of gratitude and relief. Sadly, I have agonized over this moment for the last 15 years. Only until recently, thanks to my family and friends, especially Connor, Cason, and Francis, did it seem possible for me to say publicly and proudly that I'm gay. I am also incredibly thankful for the NFL, my coaches, and fellow players for their support. I would not have been able to do this without them. From the jump, I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance.
"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. 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 equality and acceptance.
"As I mentioned in my video message, I am partnering with The Trevor Project. I was immediately drawn to The Trevor Project when I learned about their mission to provide suicide prevention services to the LGBTQ community. Young LGBTQ kids are over 5x more likely than their straight friends to consider suicide. For someone like me, who has been so lucky and cherishes every day, it brings me incredible sadness to think that our LGBTQ youth are at such an elevated risk for suicide. I feel an immense responsibility to help in any way I can - and you can too. Studies have shown that all it takes is one accepting adult to decrease the risk of an LGBTQ kid attempting suicide by 40%. Whether you're a friend, a parent, a coach, or a teammate - you can be that person.
"Lastly, I hope everyone can understand that I am just one person. I am a lanky walk-on who is living his dream. I only have a small window to achieve greatness in my sport and I owe it to my team, coaches, and Raider fans to be completely locked in and at my best for the upcoming season. I'm a private person, so I'd ask the media to give me some space as I navigate this exciting time in my life. Please do not take it personally if I decline an interview or am unable to answer your questions. Thank you everyone for your support.
"Happy Pride Month and Go Raiders."
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