Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib became the first active player in league history to come out that he is gay.
On Monday afternoon, Nassib made the announcement on his Instagram from his home in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
“I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said via Outsports.com. “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. 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. I just think that representation and visibility are so important,” Nassib continued. “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.”
Nassib also said that he is donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project, which is the “world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth.”
“I’m very excited to be a part of it and help in any way that I can and I’m really pumped to see what the future holds,” Nassib concluded.
The Raiders’ Instagram page showed support for Nassib by commenting two black heart emojis on his post.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also released a statement regarding Nassib.
“The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” Goodell said. “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.”
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden also reacted to the news.
“I learned a long time ago what makes a man different is what makes him great,” Gruden said.
The Los Angeles Chargers tweeted out support for Nassib as well.
Nassib, a Penn State product, is entering his sixth season in the NFL and his second with the Raiders. He also spent time on the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Nassib has 20.5 sacks in his career.
No openly gay or bisexual player has ever played a down in the league. Back in 2014, Michael Sam was drafted into the NFL, but he never made a roster spot.