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PSU Alum, Raiders DE Carl Nassib Becomes NFL’s First Openly Gay Player

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A version of this story first appeared at our partner site, Nittany Sports Now.

Carl Nassib said he had wanted to make the announcement “for a while now,” but the Penn State great and current Las Vegas Raiders defensive end made history Monday. Nassib announced that he is gay, becoming the first active NFL player to do so.

Nassib released a video on Instagram. You can watch it in the tweet below, and read what he said below the tweet.

“What’s up, people. I’m Carl Nassib. I’m at my house here in West Chester, Pa. I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life. I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for. I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important.

“I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary. But until then, I’m gonna do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate. And I’m gonna start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project. They’re an incredible organization. They’re the No. 1 suicide prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America, and they’re truly doing incredible things, and I’m very excited to be a part of it and help in any way that I can. And I’m really pumped to see what the future holds.”

Nassib played at Penn State from 2013-15 and turned in one of the greatest seasons ever by a Nittany Lion defensive player in 2015. He finished with 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss. He won the Lombardi Award as the nation’s best lineman or linebacker and was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

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Nassib was selected in the third round (No. 65 overall) in the 2016 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns. He spent two seasons with the Browns, two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and played his first season for the Raiders in 2020.

“The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “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.”

Nassib has appeared in 73 NFL games, starting 37, and has recorded 143 tackles, 20.5 sacks and 36 tackles for loss.

Here are more comments from Nassib, in a statement released by the Raiders.

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