First out gay NFL star Carl Nassib unceremoniously released by Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib looks on during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Allegiant Stadium

The Las Vegas Raiders are releasing defensive end Carl Nassib, who made history as the first openly gay active player in the NFL. 

Nassib is a six-year football veteran and has played for the Raiders for two seasons. Across his career with the Raiders, Nassib has generated 49 tackles, four sacks and an interception as part of a rotating group of edge rushers, according to

The official NFL website reported that the decision to cut the trailblazing football player was a financial one and reportedly had nothing to do with Nassib’s sexual orientation. 

The NFL report said that Nassib’s $7.75m base salary was “too rich for a player who played just 242 defensive snaps and earned 1.5 sacks last season”. 

Nassib initially signed a three-year free-agent deal worth $25.25m with the Las Vegas Raiders in March 2020, ESPN reported. Cutting Nassib from the team with save the Raiders around $8 million in this year’s salary cap, which starts in June.

Carl Nassib is now free to sign with any team for the upcoming season, and it’s expected that he won’t have any issue finding a new team. 

The 28-year-old made headlines during the offseason when he came out in a heartfelt video posted on his Instagram account. Nassib said in the video that he came out to do his part in cultivating a “culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate”. 

The NFL star donated $100,000 to The Trevor Project, a nonprofit that focuses on suicide prevention among LGBT+ youth. This donation was matched by the NFL and later by the Las Vegas Raiders. 

Earlier this month, Carl Nassib released a video, reflecting on his decision to come out publicly. He said it was one of the most “stressful” things he had done to date, but he said it was also a “really exciting day for me”. 

“I had wanted to do it for a really long time,” Nassib said. “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.”

Nassib said he was happy to bring “representation to the NFL” and to “spread the message” about The Trevor Project’s vital work to help the “kids who are struggling the most”. 

“That’s who I’m most passionate about and to be able to say I helped them is absolutely incredible,” Nassib said.