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Carl Nassib becomes first openly gay active NFL player

In an otherwise slow news day for sports, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib made headlines by announcing he is a gay man.

Nassib posted a laid-back video from his home in Pennsylvania to break the news.

“I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” said Nassib via his Instagram.

Adding on that he had been meaning to make this announcement, Nassib became the first active NFL player to be openly gay.

The 28-year-old was the 65th overall pick in 2016 by the Cleveland Browns.

The Penn State product had a breakout year in 2015 where he led the NCAA and Big Ten in sacks (15.5) and forced fumbles (6).

Those numbers helped him earn the Ted Hendricks Award for best defensive lineman, as well as Big Ten DPOY and consensus All-American honors.

Nassib is set to be part of the Raiders’ 4-3 rotation of defensive linemen including Maxx Crosby, Clelin Ferrell, and the newly signed Yannick Ngakoue.

The nonchalance of his announcement is hopefully an encouraging sign to fellow LGBTQ+ members.

Not long ago, news like this from a professional athlete would have dominated the headlines, and likely mandated full coverage.

The fact that Nassib was able to do this from the comfort of his home, pressure free, is a sign of progress.

A person’s sexual preference does not equate to what kind of professional they can be, and Nassib is evidence of that.

This theory applies beyond football, and it goes beyond sexual orientation. Stereotypes hinder progression and in 2021 the world is as progressive as ever.

Familiar faces from all over the sports world sent shoutouts to Nassib for making a brave decision in the midst of Pride Month.


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