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First Openly Gay NFL Player Made a Huge Donation to a Mental Health Charity

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

NFL Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib announced his coming out as gay on Monday in an Instagram post. 

In the same video he also announced he will be personally donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, the LGBTQIA+-focused suicide prevention organization and hotline service.

The NFL announced that it will be matching Nassib’s donation dollar-for-dollar today in honor of Pride month and Nassib himself. He is the first active NFL player to come out as gay and was congratulated by the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell through the following press release.

NFL Statement that reads "The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” the statement read. “Representation matters. We share his hope that someday soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season."

Other teammates, NFL players and celebrities warmly celebrated Nassib’s announcement and congratulated him on his courageous announcement.

Saquon Barkley: 

Julian Edelman:

Michael Sam:

George Takei:

Most fans are taking the announcement positively and according to the NFL, Nassib’s jersey is the top selling sale on Fanatics after his announcement.

It’s no surprise that Nassib’s coming out is being well perceived during Pride month and what a dramatic impact it’s having already on so many individual’s lives. Representation is important and in an era when transgender youths’ right to participate in sports is being hotly contested in the halls of local and national government, Nassib coming out as gay is more than just a small step forward.

According to a GLAAD study published in 2019, out of 110 major studio films released in 2018, 20 contained a character who identified as LGBTQIA+. This number is an increase from years past, which is an improvement, but we still have a long way to go. Nassib’s coming out means that LGBTQIA+ children both in and out of the closet will be able to see a successful, gay football player living his life on television and on social media.

His donation to the Trevor Project also means that millions of LGBTQIA+ children will have access to mental healthcare and emergency hotline support. In 2020, 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, over half of that number were transgender and nonbinary youth. In light of the pandemic, 80% of LGBTQ youth surveyed also stated that COVID-19 made their living situation more difficult since only one in every three individuals lived in an LGBTQ-affirming household.

In short, coming out makes bigger waves than you could ever know.

Congratulations Carl Nassib and Happy Pride, everyone!


Lead image via Carl Nassib’s Instagram

Originally published: June 23, 2021
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