LGBTQ+ Celebs, Athletes Celebrate Carl Nassib’s Historic Coming Out

"This is enormous."

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.)

“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].”

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.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella