For the first time in NFL history, an active player in the league has come out as gay.
Carl Nassib, a defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, took to Instagram Monday evening to announce he’s gay.
The 28-year-old, a former member of the Cleveland Browns, also announced a large money donation. He said he is donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization that focuses on suicide prevention programs for LGBT youth.
“I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in a video he posted on Instagram. “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life. I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for. I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know I’m not doing this for attention, but I think representation matters.”
Nassib makes history as the first active gay NFL player. Many players have come out as gay after their playing careers ended. Michael Sam came out as gay before he was drafted in 2014 but never played a snap in the regular season.
Nassib said the decision to come out was made easier with the support from his friends, family and the Raiders organization.
“I would not have been able to do this without them. From the jump, I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance,” he wrote on Instagram. “I truly love my life and cannot understand why I have been blessed this much. I feel especially thankful to have had so much support when many who came before — and many even now — do not.”