The NFL has declared that “football is gay” after Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib came out as gay.
Nassib, 28, made history by becoming the first openly gay active player in the NFL, after posting a coming out video on Instagram last week.
The NFL responded this week by posting a video to its official Twitter account calling football “gay,” “lesbian,” “queer,” “transgender,” “bisexual,” and “for everyone.”
It also urged people to support The Trevor Project, the nation’s largest crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth, after Nassib said he would donate $100,000 to the organization.
“If you love this game, you are welcome here. Football is for all. Football is for everyone,” the NFL wrote. “The NFL stands by the LGBTQ+ community today and every day.”
The simple video, which features white text on a black background, starts by declaring, “Football is gay.”
“Football is lesbian. Football is beautiful. Football is queer,” it continues. “Football is life. Football is exciting. Football is culture. Football is transgender. Football is heart. Football is power. Football is tough. Football is bisexual. Football is strong. Football is freedom. Football is American. Football is accepting. Football is everything. Football is for everyone.”
The NFL’s logo is then shown with a rainbow background, before the video states that the NFL “proudly supports The Trevor Project.”
“LGBTQ+ youth with at least one accepting adult have 40 per cent lower risk of attempting suicide,” the video says, ultimately ending on a link to the Trevor Project website.
If you love this game, you are welcome here. Football is for all. Football is for everyone.
The NFL stands by the LGBTQ+ community today and every day.
— NFL (@NFL) June 28, 2021
“This spot is about celebrating Pride, and the importance of inclusion,” NFL chief marketing officer Tim Ellis said in a statement. “It’s imperative that we use our voice and leverage the NFL platform to drive positive change, which includes supporting what our players care about and what they stand for.”
Speaking to Outsports, the NFL’s diversity director Sam Rapoport added that the video sends a “clear message” to the NFL’s LGBTQ+ fans.
“This game is unquestionably for you,” Rapoport said. “I will be playing its first line over and over in my head all season.”
The NFL previously announced that it would match Nassib’s $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project.
“The NFL is committed to year-long efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion,” the league said in a statement. “We proudly support the LGBQT+ 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.”
In his coming out video, Nassib said he announced his sexuality not for attention, but because “representation matters.”
“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,” he added.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!