Just in time for the end of Pride Month, NFL Raiders player Carl Nassib made headlines on Monday after he came out of the closet publicly in a video posted to Instagram on Monday. He is the first player, actively playing on any NFL team to do so. In addition to sharing his truth with the world at large, Nassib also announced he was making a $100,000 donation to the Trevor Project, a non-profit dedicated to ending suicide in the LGBTQ+ community.
Nassib’s video announcement was a tearjerker of the best variety. In his video shared to his account, he said, “I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that like one day videos like this and the whole coming-out process are just not necessary, but until then I’m going to do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate.”
When he posted this video, Nassib did a whole lot more than just come out of the closet. He gave LGBTQ+ parents a message of hope, that even in places like the NFL, change is possible. The reactions to the announcement on Twitter (and the fact that Nassib’s jersey was Tuesday’s bestseller) are proof that it isn’t just love that wins. Hope, wins, too.
To Carl Nassib and Kumi Yokoyama – two prominent, inspiring athletes who came out this week: I’m so proud of your courage. Because of you, countless kids around the world are seeing themselves in a new light today.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 23, 2021
Proud of Carl Nassib on coming out yesterday. The #RaiderNation, the whole country, and I stand with you.
— Bo Jackson (@BoJackson) June 22, 2021
Thank you for your bravery, Mr. Nassib. We are standing with you. Happy Pride! 🏳️🌈 👏 pic.twitter.com/y9xy5HgboL
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 23, 2021
“There is a young person with a greater sense of hope today because of this young man. That is a good thing.” – @JohnAmaechi discusses the impact of Raiders DE Carl Nassib becoming the first active NFL player to come out as gay. pic.twitter.com/mjBSew3PdG
— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) June 22, 2021
Still thinking about what Carl Nassib did today; what it means for the 🏳️🌈 movement
I think about kids across the country/around the 🌎 who get funneled into atmospheres where they DON’T feel like they can be their authentic selves
Carl took a huge step in helping to change that
— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) June 22, 2021
This is a game changer for so many LGBTQ youth. Representation & visibility matter.Thank you Carl Nassib @Raiders for your honesty & recognizing the giants on whose shoulders we stand. Our curriculum explores many of these giants who have paved the way for the rest of us. pic.twitter.com/nPJXZZYfM9
— History UnErased (@HistUnErased) June 22, 2021
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 22, 2021
Somewhere there’s a kid who feels a little less isolated and scared because of what Carl Nassib did today. And that is heartening to think about.
— Eric Adelson (@eric_adelson) June 22, 2021
The first. Not the last. I count myself as one of the millions of gay NFL fans who will be cheering you on! 🏳️🌈 🏈 https://t.co/aXQgma2XR3
— Rufus Gifford (@rufusgifford) June 21, 2021
Here is why people care when athletes like Carl Nassib come out.
When I was 11 years old, I had a family member tell me “only ugly girls are lesbians”
When I was 12, the same family member said “you know, you should consider liking girls, it’ll be better for you”
— Elle Em (@ellle_em) June 22, 2021
— Johnny Weir (@JohnnyGWeir) June 22, 2021
Former NBA Player Rex Chapman reacts to Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib becoming the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
— Stephanie Ruhle Reports (@RuhleOnMSNBC) June 22, 2021
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