Metro Weekly

Carl Nassib, first openly gay active NFL player, says he’s dating someone ‘awesome’

Las Vegas Raiders player said he came out as gay because he felt an "obligation" to bring LGBTQ representation to the NFL

carl nassib, nfl
Carl Nassib – Photos: (left) Instagram, (right) Las Vegas Raiders, via Instagram.

Carl Nassib, the first openly gay active NFL player, has revealed that he is dating an “awesome guy.”

Appearing on Blue Wire’s Comeback Stories podcast, the Las Vegas Raiders defensive end spoke about his coming out journey and his decision to go public about his sexuality in June.

Nassib said he realized he was gay four years ago, but held off on coming out until he had established his football career.

The 28-year-old also spoke about his love life, saying, “I met an awesome guy. He’s the best.”

He added: “I was really jealous of people who went through life as being somebody else’s number one priority. As you get older, everybody’s priorities shift….

“Late at night, you’re just like, ‘Okay, am I anyone’s number-one priority?’” he continued, “And that’s just the one thing that I wanted. I just wanted to be someone’s number-one priority and I couldn’t have that.

“But I got that now, so it’s good,” he said.

Despite planning to announce his sexuality in 2020, Nassib delayed, in part because of COVID-19.

“Coming out as gay is something that for awhile I wanted to do and just wanted to wait for the right moment,” he said. “I wanted to do it last year with the Raiders, but 2020 was such a mess, and we weren’t even allowed to hang out with each other outside of the building.

“I didn’t know anybody on the team. I didn’t really have a vibe for it, so I really didn’t feel comfortable enough to do it. I wanted to make sure that the guys I went to work with every single day were good dudes, were accepting dudes.”

Nassib’s historic decision to come out wasn’t intended to “break barriers,” he said, but rather because he “felt an obligation to the LGBTQ community to bring representation and bring visibility to a very, very popular entertainment business, to a very, very popular industry that doesn’t have a lot of representation.”

According to Nassib, being the NFL’s only gay active player is “stressful.” However, things have improved.

“I just want to normalize things,” he said. “I really don’t think too often going through life as a gay man. I just hope one day that won’t even have to cross your mind because it barely crosses my mind. It was a big weight put on my shoulders, but now I think it’s slowly coming off.”

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