Trailblazing gay NFL star Carl Nassib has opened about the “incredible” welcome from teammates after he came out.
The defensive lineman shared with football fans and the world that he is gay in a heartfelt video posted to Instagram in July. In the video, Nassib said he believed “representation and visibility are so important”, and he wanted to do his part to “cultivate a culture that’s accepting”.
On Friday (6 August), Nassib spoke to reporters for the first time since he came out as the first openly gay active NFL player during the offseason. According to ESPN, he said he was amazed by the support from his Las Vegas Raiders teammates and around the league.
“I was definitely surprised by the big reaction,” Nassib said. “It was incredible. I thought nobody would care.”
He recalled how his body “felt like Jell-O” in the first couple of days after becoming the “only ‘out’ player” in the NFL. Nassib described how he has been feeling better every day since coming out and is “looking forward to the future”.
He added that he was “glad” to “do my part to bring visibility and representation” to the LGBT+ community.
Carl Nassib #94 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates a 31-26 win over the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on 8 November 2020. (Getty/Harry How)
Carl Nassib then went on to talk about the “great” reception he got from teammates, saying he knew it was “going to be good”.
“I had zero stress about that,” Nassib told reporters. “Absolutely no worries about that.”
He continued: “Great locker room. Great teammates.
“I’ve been met with nothing but love and support. It’s been incredible.
“Football players get a bad rep, but we’re humble, hardworking, accepting people, and this is a great example of that.”
It’s heartening to hear that Nassib has found a support system. Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr shared earlier in the week that no one in the locker room has “treated” Carl Nassib “any different” since he came out.
The NFL star, who has a locker “just a few down” from Nassib, said the team just wants him to “play as hard as he can so we can win a Super Bowl”.