Las Vegas Raiders lineman Carl Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

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Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib (94) leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Atlanta. The Atlanta Falcons won 43-6. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

(KXAN) — Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib is the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib made his announcement through a video on Instagram Monday.

In the video, Nassib said he is donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, which is a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25, according to its website.

“I’ve been meaning to do this for while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough now getting it off my chest,” Nassib said in the video. “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.”

Nassib is entering his sixth season in the NFL after a college career at Penn State that resulted in a third round draft selection by the Cleveland Browns in 2016. Nassib has played for Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Las Vegas, making 37 starts over five seasons.

University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam announced he was gay prior to the 2014 NFL Draft. Sam was drafted in the seventh round of that year’s NFL Draft by the (then) St. Louis Rams. He was waived by the Rams before the season started and didn’t register an NFL appearance.

Sam was subsequently signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, but was released in October 2014.

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