Former Buccaneers player Carl Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay


Detroit Lions offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby (65) blocks Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Carl Nassib (94) during an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Images/Rick Osentoski)

TAMPA (WFLA) – Former Buccaneers defensive end Carl Nassib has announced he is gay on Instagram.

“What’s up people,” Nassib said in an Instagram video he recorded at his home in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “I just wanted 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.”

Nassib was a former defensive captain with the Buccaneers and had 12.5 sacks in his two seasons with the Buccaneers and currently plays for the Las Vegas Raiders.

“I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for,” Nassib said. “I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important.”

Nassib said he hopes that in the future similar videos of players coming out as gay are “just not necessary.”

“Until then I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate.”

Nassib said he will be donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project, a national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ people under 25.

No openly gay player has ever played in a regular-season NFL game. Michael Sam came out as gay before the 2014 NFL draft, was drafted by the Rams and played for them in the preseason, but he did not make a regular season roster. A handful of other players have come out after their playing careers ended.

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