In his first public remarks since the end of the NFL season, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib says coming out as gay was “stressful” last summer but he felt strongly about bringing visibility and representation to the NFL for LGBTQ youth.
Nassib came out via a video posted to his Instagram on June 21. At the same time, he announced he was making a $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people.
“That was really exciting day for me,” Nassib shares in a video posted to social media on Tuesday. “I had wanted to do it for a really long time. I wanted to be in a place where I felt totally comfortable, totally confident to really give a voice to people who really needed it the most.”
“I was with my friends and family, and it definitely was a stressful thing to do. But we were really excited to spread the message of the Trevor Project to bring visibility and representation to the NFL, to sports, and we did it for the youth, for the kids that are struggling the most. That’s who I’m most passionate about, and to be able to say I helped them is absolutely incredible.”
Just days later, the NFL released a video titled “Football is gay” in support of Nassib’s coming out and also donated $100,000 to the Trevor Project as well.
Bringing LGBTQ+ representation and visibility to the NFL and sports.
Carl Nassib’s courageous story was shared last year and we are standing with him to match his $100,000 donation to The @TrevorProject. To learn more visit https://t.co/BitjmwH51Q pic.twitter.com/8FHuOX1uK1
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) March 1, 2022
Also appearing in the new video is Nassib’s teammate, Alec Ingold, who shares how Nassib’s coming out landed with him. “My initial reaction was ‘Wow, good for him,’” Ingold said.
“And then it started to sink in about how massive that was for so many other people looking for that voice, that blueprint,” Ingold continued. “And for Carl to have the courage to do that, it took a little bit to sink in on the magnitude of what he did.”
The clip also underscores the message that studies show having at least one accepting adult in their life can decrease an LGBTQ young person’s risk of suicide by 40 percent.
Additionally, the Las Vegas Raiders announced the team is “standing with Carl by making a $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project, to make the world a more welcoming and loving place for LGBTQ young people.”
“The Raiders are proud to match Carl’s generous donation to support the Trevor Project and the important work this organization is doing to serve the LGBTQ community,” Raiders president Dan Ventrelle said in a statement to Outsports. “Diversity, equality, and inclusion are core values of the Las Vegas Raiders, and we appreciate the effort that both Carl and the Trevor Project have put toward advancing these principles.”
Nassib called the Raiders’ matching donation “incredible” saying he “never expected them to match it, and I think it’s beautiful for them to take that step – supporting me, supporting The Trevor Project. I also love that it’s keeping the conversation going.”
He also thanked the Raiders on his Instagram writing, “HEYYY!! The @raiders just donated $100,000 to the @trevorproject!! This is fricken incredible. Check the link in my bio to find out more and to help a very important cause. Enormous thank you to Mr. Davis. He and the Raiders organization have supported me every step of the way and now he has truly outdone himself. Thank you!”
Expect to see Nassib back in black and silver again in the fall as he had a good season with the Raiders this year. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 5th highest ranked defensive player on the team.
Last month, the 28-year-old lineman was honored by the NFL for the impact and significance of his coming out as the first out gay active player in the league.
Carl Nassib has impacted and inspired a generation of athletes. ❤️🙌
— NFL (@NFL) February 11, 2022