Carl Nassib: Coming out ‘stressful thing to do’ but also exciting

Carl Nassib, a player for the Las Vegas Raiders, walks off the field while wearing a football jersey

National Football League (NFL) star Carl Nassib has opened up about how “stressful” and exciting it was for him to come out as gay last year. 

The Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman came out as gay in a heartfelt video posted to his Instagram just in time to celebrate Pride Month last year. He is the first out active player in the league’s history.

In his first public comments since the NFL season ended, Nassib reflected on his decision to come out. He revealed it was one of the most “stressful” things he has done, but he was ultimately excited to share his truth with the world.

“That was a really exciting day for me,” Nassib recalled. “I had wanted to do it for a really long time.”

He continued: “I wanted to be in a place where I felt totally comfortable, totally confident to give a voice to people who really needed it the most.”


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Nassib explained that he was with his family and friends at the time which helped, but he said coming out was a “stressful thing to do”. 

He added that he was “excited to spread the message” of The Trevor Project – a nonprofit that focuses on suicide prevention among LGBT+ youth – and bring “representation to the NFL”. 

“We did it for the youth, for the kids who are struggling the most,” Nassib said. “That’s who I’m most passionate about and to be able to say I helped them is absolutely incredible.” 

In his coming out video last year, Nassib also announced a $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project. Shortly afterwards, the NFL pledged to match that donation and even released a video proudly declaring: “football is gay”

Nassib’s recent video came after the Las Vegas Raiders announced it was also donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project. 

Las Vegas Raiders president Dan Ventrelle said the team was “proud” to match Carl Nassib’s “generous donation” to support the LGBT+ organisation and its “important work” to serve the queer community. 

“Diversity, equality, and inclusion are core values of the Las Vegas Raiders, and we appreciate the effort that both Carl and The Trevor Project have put toward advancing these principles,” Ventrelle said. 

Nassib said it was “incredible” that the Raiders were watching his donation as he “never expected” it to happen. 

“I think it’s beautiful for them to take that step to support me and support The Trevor Project,” Nassib added. 

The NFL player said the donation wasn’t just the team “writing another cheque” because it “matters who it comes from” as well as the meaning behind it. He said he loved that it was “keeping the conversation going” and can “further the movement”. 

The Trevor Project thanked Carl Nassib for his continued advocacy in a comment on Instagram. 

“Thank you Carl, for being a role model to LGBTQ+ youth, for spreading awareness & supporting our lifesaving crisis resources,” the organisation wrote.