Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib made history Monday by becoming the first active NFL player to come out as openly gay. In a statement Nassib shared on Instagram, he explained that the league, his coaches, and teammates have been supportive, and the Raiders reacted to his announcement via social media:
Meanwhile, Raiders owner Mark Davis told ESPN: "It's 2021. All the more power to Carl. It doesn't change my opinion of him as a person or as a Raider."
Davis also spoke with Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Talked to Raiders own Mark Davis.— Ed Graney (@edgraney) June 21, 2021
On Carl Nassib: "These are personal decisions. It's 2021 and he's a Raider. If he's happy, I'm happy. It takes courage. I thought we got to the point where this wasn't (a story). It doesn't change my opinion of him as a man or as a Raider."
"The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today. Representation matters. We share his hope that someday soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season."
The Cleveland Browns selected Nassib in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and he spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before he signed a three-year deal with the Raiders in March 2020.