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NFL’s Carl Nassib Says Coming Out Was Tough But Rewarding

Carl Nassib, the first out gay active player in the NFL said he felt lucky that his coming out had such an impact on the LGBTQ+ community.

In an interview with Mickey Rapkin of Men’s Health, the blunt and notoriously foul-mouthed linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers spoke openly about coming out, but also about life as a professional football player who wants to make an impact on and off the field.

“I felt really lucky that I could be on a big stage and, like, make a good play while representing the community,” Nassib told Rapkin in the exclusive interview. “To be the first out player in a game and then to win. That’s sick, that’s f*ck*ng cool.”


Nassib came out in a video posted to Instagram last year in time for Pride Month.

“What’s up people,” Nassib said in the Instagram video last June. “I’m at my house in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends, and job a guy can ask for.”

Nassib used the opportunity to donate $100,000 to The Trevor Project, which provides support and advocacy for LGBTQ+ youth at risk for death by suicide.

The 29-year-old Pennsylvania native described coming out as a nerve-wracking experience, but well worth the effort.

“When I came out,” Nassib revealed to Rapkin, “it was like, this is gonna f*ck*ng suck. Because all anyone’s gonna remember about me is that I’m gay.”

Nassib quickly dispelled those fears in his first game after coming out. Nassib forced a fumble in overtime which was quickly turned into the game-winning touchdown, He couldn’t have picked a better moment to make an impact, as the Raiders beat the Baltimore Ravens 33-27 in overtime during the 2020 season opener of Monday Night Football last September, the NFL’s premier primetime game.

“Lot of firsts today,” Nassib said at the post-game press conference. “No one blinked. It was awesome. It was a great team win, for sure.”

Despite the media attention surrounding his sexuality, Nassib made clear to Rapkin that while he may be living out and proud as a gay man, his identity on game day is purely professional.

“I go out with the same mentality every game, just trying to beat the shit out of the team across from me,” Nassib said. “My whole thing is, I’m a football player who is gay,”

And that is not an easy task. Nassib said he is “not a naturally built guy” like many players in the league and hasn’t taken a vacation in ten years because he can’t afford to miss a week of workouts.

“I can’t take my foot off the gas.”

Read the full article here

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