Raiders' Carl Nassib Comments on Being 1st Publicly Out Gay Man to Play in NFL Game

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 14, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 13:  Defensive end Carl Nassib #94 of the Las Vegas Raiders reacts after making a tackle for a loss of yardage during the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium on September 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Ravens 33-27 in overtime. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Chris Unger/Getty Images

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib commented Monday night on becoming the first publicly out player to appear in an NFL regular-season game.

According to Josh Peter of USA Today, Nassib told reporters: "I'm happy we got the win on the day I kind of made a little bit of history, which was really, really nice to do. I had a lot of people come before me in the LGBTQ community that helped me get to where I am, and I'm super thankful for that."

Nassib announced he is gay in June, making him the first active NFL player to come out. He also made history by appearing in Monday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens, as no out player had ever made a regular-season roster.

Defensive end Michael Sam spent time on the St. Louis Rams' preseason roster and Dallas Cowboys' practice squad in 2014 after coming out, but he never played in a regular-season game.

With Nassib playing a pivotal role, the Raiders outlasted the Ravens 33-27 in overtime to start the season 1-0.

While the 28-year-old Nassib didn't start Monday, he still managed to record three tackles, one sack and one forced fumble in the Raiders' triumph.

Nassib's strip-sack of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson came at a key time, as Raiders quarterback Derek Carr had just thrown an interception in the end zone while driving for the winning score in overtime.

The momentum was squarely on Baltimore's side, and it needed only a field goal to win the game, but Nassib got to the electric Jackson and forced the turnover:


NASSIB.<br><br>THE RAIDERS GET ANOTHER CHANCE.<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BALvsLV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BALvsLV</a> on ESPN/ABC<br>📱: <a href="https://t.co/NS3IxESidh">https://t.co/NS3IxESidh</a> <a href="https://t.co/WpBtIxFOFD">pic.twitter.com/WpBtIxFOFD</a>

Two plays later, Carr threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Zay Jones to win the game.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said of Nassib's forced fumble: "That was big. He made us a big play at the end of the game. ... He's had a great training camp, and we're going to need him here obviously as we move forward."

Notably, Nassib was active Monday night over 2019 No. 4 overall draft pick Clelin Ferrell, who was a healthy scratch.

The 28-year-old Nassib was originally a third-round pick out of Penn State by the Cleveland Browns in the 2016 NFL draft.

Nassib spent two seasons each with the Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before signing with the Raiders ahead of the 2020 season.

Nassib now has 21.5 sacks in 74 career regular-season games, and he is on an early track to top the career-high of 6.5 sacks he set with the Bucs in 2018.

As the Raiders now look to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016, Nassib figures to be a big part of the team's defensive success.