LGBTQ+ activists, celebrities, and athletes across the web are taking to social media to congratulate Carl Nassib after his historic coming out.
On Monday (June 21), the Raiders defensive lineman uploaded a heartfelt Instagram post coming out to the world as gay, and donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project to support its essential suicide-prevention work. He is now the first openly gay active NFL player in the professional football league’s 100-year history. (Other gay football players, including trailblazer Michael Sam, have come out publicly but never while actively on the roster for an NFL team.)
The NFL family is proud of you, Carl. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/HXbcBuLg2X
— NFL (@NFL) June 21, 2021
“I think that representation and visibility are so important,” Nassib said in a video filmed outside his home in Pennsylvania. “I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary. But until then, I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate.”
Across the board, Nassib’s announcement has been met with an outpouring of love and support from prominent figures on social media, including votes of confidence from fellow NFL players like Giants player Saquon Barkley, his own team, and the NFL itself. “The NFL family is proud of you, Carl,” the league wrote on its official Twitter account. He also got a shout-out from gay tennis legend Billie Jean King, who congratulated him for “bravely [making history].”
Carl Nassib’s powerful coming out is a historic reflection of the growing state of LGBTQ visibility and inclusion in the world of professional sports, which has been driven by a long list of brave LGBTQ athletes who came before him. (1/3)https://t.co/HIPwkPmj8l
— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) June 21, 2021
In a statement, GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis commended Nassib’s “powerful coming out,” which was “driven by a long list of brave LGBTQ athletes who came before him.”
“As an accomplished athlete who is now the first out gay active player in the NFL, Carl Nassib’s story will not only have a profound impact on the future of LGBTQ visibility and acceptance in sports, but sends a strong message to so many LGBTQ people, especially youth, that they too can one day grow up to be and succeed as a professional athlete like him,” Ellis added.
Sending our support too, Carl! Below, find more reactions to Nassib’s coming out from LGBTQ+ activists, celebrities, and athletes, and read his full statement on Instagram.
— tyler oakley (@tyleroakley) June 22, 2021
It took me until I was in my late 60s to come out. Such is the power of the closet. And I know what it’s like to have the eyes of the world on you when you do finally speak your truth.
Bravo, Carl Nassib. You have tackled a great deal today.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 22, 2021
I’m crying with happiness for what this will mean for our youth.
NFL players react to Carl Nassib coming out as gay – New York Post https://t.co/tltOtMzsM9
— Harvey Fierstein (@HarveyFierstein) June 22, 2021
This is enormous. Carl Nassib came out today, becoming the first openly-gay active NFL player.
Michael Sam was the first openly-gay player drafted in 2014 but was released during the pre-season.
12 NFL players have come out after leaving the NFL. https://t.co/dbXRRqEIxj
— Charlotte Clymer ️⚧️ (@cmclymer) June 22, 2021
— Rep. Ritchie Torres (@RepRitchie) June 22, 2021
Carl Nassib is the first active NFL player to come out as gay. https://t.co/HoFpiRjSwk
— The Chris Mosier (@TheChrisMosier) June 21, 2021
Congratulations to Carl Nassib, the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Thank you for making history — as you said, representation is so important. https://t.co/X2dj3tG5lk
— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) June 21, 2021