Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib came out as gay on his Instagram account. It is being called a “turning point” for professional sports.
NFL player Carl Nassib used his Instagram account to announce he is gay yesterday, becoming the first active player to be openly gay.
- Nassib, currently with the Las Vegas Raiders, said he “wasn’t seeking publicity” but “that representation and visibility are so important.”
- In addition to his announcement, Nassib said he would be donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project, a national support organization for gay youth.
- Nassib’s announcement drew a number of positive responses from the NFL’s top names including Commissioner Roger Goodell and Nassib’s former Penn State teammate Saquon Barkley.
- The New York Times called Nassib’s announcement “a significant turning point for the NFL”, despite the drafting of Michael Sam several years ago, who never played in a regular season game.
- CNN’s Don Lemon, who is gay, congratulated Nassib, while separate reporting said “Nassib’s story” will “have a profound impact on the future LGBTQ visibility and acceptance in sports.”
- Huffington Post’s report noted “15 players have come out after retiring” and said football “has historically been tied to masculinity and heteronormativity.”
- RedState lamented “sports these days isn’t the same institution of yore” and “the culture’s changing, sports is changing” and “we may soon see another” openly gay athlete, “if not gay or trans, perhaps binary.”
- The Daily Caller’s David Hookstead said Nassib’s announcement was no gimmick, as “Nassib is a legit player” with a $25 million deal while Michael Sam’s announcement “was nothing more than a publicity stunt.”
- Fox News’ coverage played it down the middle, hitting the same points other outlets covered, including Nassib’s donation to The Trevor Project and the reaction from around the league.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021