Today marked a first for the NFL. The fact that it occurred during Pride month may be a happy coincidence for the LGBTQ+ community. Although there have been openly gay former players and openly gay players that played in the NFL pre-season like Michael Sam, today for the first time an active NFL player has come out.
The reaction to this announcement Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib has been mostly positive. With former NFL greats providing their support on social media in the midst of the news!
How The Announcement Came About
Pretty much out of the blue Nassib decided to post a video on his Instagram account. He kicked off the video getting the news right out of the way saying,
“What’s up people I’m Carl Nassib I’m at my house here in West Chester Pennsylvania just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay”
He then continued to talk about why he chose this moment to come out. Making it clear that he isn’t doing it for the attention, but he believes that representation is important.
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Other NFL Barrier Breakers Salute Him
The comment section on the original post was flooded with supportive comments. Including comments from his current team the Raiders that featured a couple of black hearts. Maybe one of the most unexpected outbursts of supports came from former NFL quarterback Warren Moon.
The Houston Oiler great was one of the first black quarterbacks to play in the league. He took to Twitter to speak about Nassib where he mentioned,
“Really proud of Carl Nassib. The first active football player to ever do so. I played with several guys who never were comfortable enough to go public. They were great teammates, & obviously very talented.”
Moon Also Weighed In On Having A Gay Player On A Team
Besides clearly stating that he had played with gay players during his career that spanned through the 80’s and 90’s Moon also weighed on how this announcement could affect Nassib’s career. Moon was clear on this saying,
“As long as they helped us win and were great teammates- their sexual preference was never a issue..”
At this point in time, most of the reactions to the news have been positive. What will happen though if the Raiders decide to move off Nassib at any point during this offseason?
As long as they helped us win and were great teammates- their sexual preference was never a issue..
We live in a different time now where diversity is much more accepted. Cheers Carl, and I hope this lets other athletes know, its OK to say who you are…👏🏽
— Warren Moon (@WMoon1) June 22, 2021
Will Coming Out Be A Problem For Nassib Moving Forward?
A question that’s on everyone’s mind is whether or not coming out will affect Nassib’s career. Nassib himself mentioned that he was really happy with his job. That may have something to do with the fact that he signed a 25 million dollar contract extension with the Raiders last year.
With that kind of commitment, it could be hard for the team to look to move off of him. However, just as a reminder though, Michael Sam led the Rams in sacks during his only preseason with the team. Yet, they still decided not to sign him. Public pressure these days though could see Nassib keep his job regardless of his performance on the field for fear of negative backlash. There’s no question this story still has a lot of legs.