This past Monday, June 21st was a historic day in NFL history as Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib opened up to the world as the first active player to come out as gay. The bright 28-year-old shared the news via an Instagram post quickly grabbing the attention of many people around the world as well as players involved in the league. Just two days following the announcement, Nassib’s jersey has become the most popular item purchased throughout NFL shops.
Carl Nassib Comes Out as Gay – The Announcement
Nassib couldn’t have been more of a class act when posting the video. In order to understand what I mean by that you need to watch it, but here’s what the defensive end had to say:
“What’s up people? I’m Carl Nassib and 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.”
He continued by explaining,
“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.”
Like many others, I had no idea what Nassib was referring to when he name-dropped the Trevor Project, but Nassib did a fine job elaborating on the matter saying,
“They’re an incredible organization, they’re the number one suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America. And they’re truly doing incredible things. And I’m very excited to be a part of it, help in any ways that I can and I’m really pumped to see what the future holds.”
What This Means
You don’t have to be part of the LGTBQ community to understand the magnitude something like this can do in life. For Nassib to feel comfortable enough where he can go on Instagram and share something so private with the rest of the world shows us the little improvements the world is making on a daily basis. Becoming more accepting of other people’s lifestyles is a huge step in the right direction.
Who knows how many people’s lives changed after watching Nassib come out so openly and happy? It may have helped a little boy or girl struggling to hide their secret and aid them in coming forward.
He’s right in saying that hopefully one day the coming-out process doesn’t even exist. Oftentimes, people will shy away from opening up simply because of the big deal people make after hearing the news. How amazing would it be if in a short time from now telling someone you’re gay is like telling someone what you had for breakfast: no one questions it.
Regardless of whether he knows it or not, Nassib played a key role in changing the world for the better when he decided to post that Instagram. He is not alone. Although he’s the first, he most certainly will not be the last.
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