Chester County’s Nassib comes out as first openly gay NFL player

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times @mikemcgannpa

Carl Nassib

Chester County native Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out as gay, making the announcement on his Instagram, Monday.

The former Malvern Prep and Penn State star — who is now a defensive lineman for the Las Vegas Raiders — made the announcement in a video recorded in his West Chester-area home.

“What’s up people?” Nassib posted on his Instagram account. “I’m at my house in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for.

“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are not necessary, but until then I will do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project. They’re an incredible organization, they’re the number one suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America.”

Nassib earned immediate and wide praise for his announcement, starting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:

“The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” Goodell said in a statement. “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.”

Malvern Prep issued a detailed statement, too.

“Malvern Preparatory School and its Board of Trustees commend alumnus Carl Nassib ’11 on his recent announcement as being the first openly gay active NFL player. Our community has reacted with enormous pride, positivity, love, and support for our Friar Brother who has shown courage in sharing his truth.

During his days at Malvern, Carl displayed exceptional leadership and selflessness as captain of both the basketball and football teams. He was a MECO Retreat Leader during his senior year, a position that is the result of a nomination and selection process.

After graduating from Malvern Prep, Carl continued to make Malvern proud during his time at Penn State and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he was voted Team Captain by his teammates in 2019. Malvern has been fortunate that Carl has generously given his time to our school by returning to meet with our students over the years.

Yesterday’s announcement is a gift to our community – including to our current students and alumni – that will undoubtedly do much good. Thank you, Carl, for being true to yourself. Your self-knowledge is a reflection of a value Malvern holds dear as an Augustinian school.”

Various big names from around the NFL — current stars and retired stars — all praised Nassib for his announcement, JJ Watt, Julian Edelman, Ryan Clark, and Nassib’s Penn State teammate, Giants’ running back Saquon Barkley all Tweeted statements of support in the hours after Nassib’s video came out.

Nassib makes history as the first openly gay player on an active roster. Michael Sam came out before the draft and was drafted by the Rams, but did not make the roster. About a dozen other players came out after retirement.

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