Nassib, 28, made the announcement in an Instagram post.
“What’s up people?” Nassib posted. “I’m at my house here in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just 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 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 that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that like 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.”
The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to the LGBTQ+ community.
“They’re an incredible organization, they’re the No. 1 suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America,” Nassib said. “And they’re truly doing incredible things. And I’m very excited to be a part of it, help in any way that I can and I’m really pumped to see what the future holds.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis told ESPN after Nassib’s announcement: “It’s 2021. All the more power to Carl. It doesn’t change my opinion of him as a person or as a Raider.”
The team also responded to Nassib’s post on Instagram with three black hearts, as well as with a tweet:
Proud of you, Carl 🖤 pic.twitter.com/R9aJxYFefW
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) June 21, 2021
Nassib joined the Raiders in 2020 on a three-year, $25 million free-agent deal, with $16.75 million guaranteed. He had 2.5 sacks and in interception in 14 games, five starts, for Las Vegas last season.
A third-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2016 out of Penn State, Nassib also played two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before joining the Raiders. He came to national attention as a star of the Browns’ “Hard Knocks” appearance in 2018, giving financial advice to teammates as well as offering his take on the existence of aliens.
Michael Sam, the former Missouri linebacker, became the first openly gay player to be drafted in NFL history in 2014, when the Rams took him 249th overall. He was cut by the team at the end of training camp that year and never played a regular-season game in the NFL.
Ryan Russell, a free agent at the time after playing three seasons between the Cowboys and Buccaneers, came out as bisexual in a story published by ESPN in 2019.