Every week seems to bring with it some “historic” new coming out—”The first former Olympic bronze medallist in dressage to come out as a brunette!”—so you’d be forgiven for hearing that Carl Nassib’s announcement June 21 was a big deal and scrolling right past it.
But Carl Nassib’s very casual announcement June 21, that he is a gay man, is a big deal.
Nassib isn’t a former NFL player—he is still very active as defensive linebacker on the Las Vegas Raiders. Which makes him the first openly gay player to be a part of the NFL and not be cowed by the sport’s reluctance to embrace social change.
Nassib made the announcement via an Instagram post, adding that he has donated $100,000 to The Trevor Project.
View this post on Instagram
The NFL’s social media team team promptly chimed in to show themselves on the right side of history, tweeting
You can be that person who saves a life. 🏳️🌈♥️
— NFL (@NFL) June 22, 2021
Of course, it probably helps the NFL jumping on board that Nassib is white.
How all of this will play out with the fans and the other NFL members remains to be seen but since this is 2021, we’re betting that Nassib is in for a round of social media viciousness and probably more than a few homophobic remarks on and off the field.
But he’s also a generically attractive professional athlete, so I imagine his DMs will be about 90 percent thirst and 10 percent abuse. And honestly, that’s a ratio most of us would love!