LGBTQ+ advocates hope Carl Nassib’s announcement will be a beacon of hope for young gay athletes
It was a historic moment in the world of sports when Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib came out as gay – the first active NFL player to do so.
Nassib said that he did not publicly come out for attention, but rather to help support others who may be in his shoes.
“I want to take a quick moment to say I’m gay,” Nassib said in an Instagram post. “I just think representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope one day videos like this and the coming out process are not necessary."
Support has been pouring in from across the NFL from players and coaches to administrators and fans.
There is also widespread support in the LGBTQ+ community in New Jersey, with many saying that Nassib’s announcement will help young LGBTQ+ athletes in the Garden State.
“The sports world is still in the deepest, darkest part of the closet,” says Garden State Equality executive director Christian Fuscarino.
Fuscarino calls the public announcement during Pride Month incredibly impactful. He says that it provides hope and much-needed support to young LGBTQ+ athletes who may not be out.
“That sends a message to other young athletes from the LGBTQ community that it’s OK to be who you are and to love who you love and play the sport you are good at,” he says.
Nassib says that the hope is that one day there will not be a need for the fanfare when a person in any industry comes out as homosexual. But until then, Nassib says, "I'll do my best to do my part to cultivate a culture that's accepting and passionate."
Nassib also pledged $10,000 to The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth.