Gay NFL player Carl Nassib to make triumphant return after being unceremoniously dropped by team

First openly gay active NFL player Carl Nassib signs to new team

Carl Nassib, who made history as the first active NFL player to come out as gay, has reportedly been signed to a new team.

ESPN cited a source as confirming Carl Nassib and Florida team Tampa Bay Buccaneers “reached agreement on a one-year deal” on Monday (15 August).

Nassib, who is entering his seventh season in NFL, most recently played for the Las Vegas Raiders before they released the defensive end back in March, less than a year after he came out as gay.

The NFL claimed the decision to cut the player was a financial one, that would reportedly save the team around $8 million ahead of the year’s salary cap, and had nothing to do with Nassib’s sexual orientation.

Carl Nassib came out in June 2021, becoming the first active NFL player to do so.

Other plays have come out before or after their NFL careers, such as Michael Sam, who was already out when he was drafted to the St Louis Rams in 2014. David Kopay was the first NFL player to come out after retirement, in 1975.

In the same month he was released by the Raiders, 29-year-old Nassib had released a video reflecting on his decision to come out publicly, saying it was one of the most “stressful” things he had done to date, but that it was also a “really exciting day”. 

He said in the video: “I had wanted to do it for a really long time… 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 announced he was working with LGBTQ+ youth charity The Trevor Project, which he hoped would help “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,” he said. 

He added that while he is a “private person”, he was proud to bring “representation to the NFL”. 

In an Instagram video coming out as gay in 2021, the NFL player said he would donate $100,000 to The Trevor Project to help suicide prevention among LGBT+ youth.

The donation was then matched by the NFL, who proudly announced along with the donation “football is gay”.