By David T. Valentin
On Monday, Las Vegas Raiders player Carl Nassib came out, becoming the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
In a five-part Instagram post, one video and four written slides, the 28-year-old came out as gay to the world.
Carl starts the video off saying, “Sup people, I’m Carl Nassib I’m at my house here in Westchester, Pennsylvania. I want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable to get it off my chest.”
“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 just not necessary. But until then, I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project.”
For those who are unfamiliar with The Trevor Project, the nonprofit organization, founded in 1998, is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
Not only are they a hotline to prevent LGBTQ+ suicides, but they also provide life-saving and educational guidance and resources to parents and educators looking to create safer, more inclusive environments to youth lives.
As Nassib explains in his post, “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 while the responses from Nassib’s coach, former coaches, fellow teammates, and fans have been positive, the really significant impact of Nassib’s coming out is not only NFL’s statement in support of Carl posted on Twitter on Tuesday, but their commitment to matching Carl’s donation to The Trevor Project.
They began by saying “The NFL is supporting Raiders DE Carl Nassib by matching his donation with a $100,000 contribution to the Trevor Project, the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth.
“The NFL is committed to year-long efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion,” the league said in their statement. “We proudly support the LGBTQ+ community and will continue to work alongside The Trevor Project and our other community partners to further enhance our collective work and commitment to this space.”