Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed Carl Nassib, the first out gay active player in the NFL, on a one-year deal. This will see the return of the defensive end to a team where he played for two seasons in 2018-2019.
The NFL player has racked up an impressive set of statistics, with 86 career games including 164 tackles and 22 sacks.
Nassib had previously been signed to the Las Vegas Raiders. He publicly came out during the offseason last year. Earlier this year in March, the Raiders released Nassib.
Nassib had taken a personal leave of absence last year after the head coach of the Raiders Joe Gruden resigned after his past racist, homophobic and sexist emails came to light.
The line-backer came out in June last year via a post on Instagram. “I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” he said in a video recording.
In the post he revealed that he was “sitting in a moment of gratitude and relief”, after having “agonised over this moment for the last 15 years.” Nassib conveyed his appreciation for his family and friends who supported his journey and made it possible for him to publicly come out.
“I feel especially thankful to have had so much support when many who came before- and many even now- do not. I stand on the shoulders of giants, incredible people who paved the way for me to have this opportunity.”
“I do not know all the history behind our courageous LGBTQ community, but I am eager to learn and to help continue the fight for equality and acceptance,” Nassib said.
In 2020, Nassib signed a three-year deal worth $20.5 million with the Raiders. Entering his season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Nassib will be reunited with coach Todd Bowles, whom he played for when Bowles was a defensive coordinator.
‘It’s Been Good Not To Have To Lie’
Following the defensive lineback’s coming out last year, he said that it had been a “great weight off my shoulders.”
“I’ve been out to my family and friends for years at this point, so it’s been good to not have to lie when I come in to work every day and, yeah, it’s been good,” Nassib said.
Nassib partnered with The Trevor Project to promote suicide prevention services for the LGBTQ community, donating $100 000 to the national organisation last year. The NFL matched the donation, stating that they “proudly support the LGBTQI community and will continue to work alongside the Trevor Project and our other community partners to further enhance our collective work and commitment to this space.”
The response to his coming out surprised Nassib. “It was incredible. I thought nobody would care. But it was such a good feeling to have all the support. I was glad I could do my part to help bring visibility and representation to my community,” he said.
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