Gay NFL history made as Carl Nassib becomes first out player to take to the field

Carl Nassib #94 of the Las Vegas Raiders looks on during the game against the Baltimore Ravens

Las Vegas Raiders star Carl Nassib has made history as the first openly gay player to play during an NFL game.

Nassib contributed to the Raiders nail-biting 33-27 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday (13 September).

Nassib, who came out publicly as gay in June, told reporters that he was happy the team got to win on the “day I kind of made a little bit of history”.

“I had a lot of people come before me in the LGBTQ community that helped me get to where I am, and I’m super thankful for that,” Nassib said, USA Today reported.

He added that the atmosphere in the stadium that night was absolutely “bananas” and said the team “loved the enthusiasm from fans”, according to CNN.

“This was my first experience of Raiders fans – by far the best NFL fans I’ve ever seen,” the defensive lineman added.

Nassib caused a game-changing fumble which clinched the win in overtime, helping the Raiders earn their third straight season-opening win.

Raiders’ head coach Jon Gruden hinted there was every chance that Nassib could play in future games. According to USA Today, he said Nassib had a “great training camp”, and the team will “need him here obviously as we move forward” in the season.

Carl Nassib openly gay NFL player flexes while smiling

Carl Nassib, the first openly gay NFL player, flexes while smiling before a game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Denver Broncos on 15 November 2020. (Getty/Ethan Miller)

Last month, Carl Nassib opened up about how his teammates reacted to him coming out. He described how he got a “great” reception from his fellow players, adding he knew their reaction was “going to be good”.

“I had zero stress about that,” Nassib told reporters. “Absolutely no worries about that.”

He received “nothing but love and support” from his “great teammates”.

“Football players get a bad rep, but we’re humble, hardworking, accepting people, and this is a great example of that,” Nassib added.