It is debatable whether it should really be news in 2021 when someone announces they are gay or lesbian. But on Tuesday night, shortly after midnight German time, US media such as CNN Washington Post, New York Times and NBC News breaking news on their readers’ phones for precisely such a reason. It is probably the overall circumstances that make the outing of Carl Nassib a reportable item at this time as well.
Nassib had recently posted a video on Instagram in which he – casually in a dark blue shirt and surrounded by green trees – was the first active football professional from the NFL to admit to being gay. “What’s up, guys, I just wanted to take a minute and say I’m gay. I’ve wanted to do this for a while and I’m finally comfortable getting rid of it,” says the defensive end of the Las Vegas Raiders audibly relaxed.
“Hey, I’m gay” – first active US football professional comes out
The 28-year-old thanks him for the support of his family and friends, through whom he recently felt it was possible to “say publicly and proudly that I am gay”.
This moment has tormented him for the past 15 years. Nassib reports that he has received support from the NFL, his coaches and teammates. He was immediately greeted with “the greatest respect and acceptance”. He doesn’t take the step because he wants attention. In June, the so-called Pride Month, organizations and representatives of the LGBTQ community worldwide raise awareness of ongoing discrimination. “I just think representation and visibility are so important,” says Nassib. And he adds that he hopes steps like his will no longer be necessary in the future.
Nassib is entering his sixth season in the NFL and was two years for the Cleveland Browns and Tamba Bay Buccaneers before joining the Raiders in summer 2020. The next season starts in September.
Nassib received a heart from his team for his video, in which he also announced a donation of 100,000 US dollars to the Trevor Project. The organization runs a telephone counseling service for young LGBTQ people. The football league tweeted after the statement: “The NFL family is proud of you Carl”.
Congratulations from Jason Collins
In 2013, basketball player Jason Collins was the first active professional athlete in the four major US sports leagues for basketball, football, baseball and ice hockey to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality. Collins congratulated Nassib on Twitter, said that he was proud of him and that he was looking forward to seeing him play soon.
Football player Michael Sam admitted his homosexuality in 2014 before he was recruited as a potential junior employee by the St. Louis Rams. However, Sam was removed from the list after the training camp and never participated in a regular game of the NFL. Some players like Jeff Rohrer, who appeared as linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys, only came out as gay after the end of their professional career.
With material from the dpa