Carl Nassib, who became the first out gay player in the NFL to make a regular season 53-man roster, will be matching all donations up to $100,000 made to The Trevor Project in recognition of Pride Month.
On Sunday, Nassib posted a video to his Instagram commemorating Pride, announcing he would provide a 1:1 match for any donations made to The Trevor Project, the world’s top suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ Youth.
“Out there right now, there’s a kid saying ‘I’d rather be dead than be gay,’ and that’s why I’m partnering again with The Trevor Project, and matching all donations up to $100,000,” Nassib says in the video. “I really hope you guys join me in supporting this awesome organization and supporting these young kids.”
Nassib, a former player for the Las Vegas Raiders, came out publicly through an Instagram post on June 21, 2021, announcing that he was gay and promising to donate $100,000 to support The Trevor Project’s programming and support services, including its 24/7 crisis service hotline with trained crisis counselors.
In the week following Nassib’s coming-out announcement, The Trevor Project’s website traffic increased by more than 350%, and the organization received a 100% increase in daily online donations.
Nassib’s 2021 donation was also matched by the NFL on the day following his announcement, and by the Raiders on March 1, just before they released Nassib, a rotational defensive end and pass rusher, making him a free agent.
As a free agent, it remains to be seen whether Nassib will land on another NFL team. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Ryan Russell, who came out as bisexual in 2019 while a free agent, was never able to land on a roster following his announcement.
Former University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, the first out gay player to be drafted into the NFL in 2014, was never able to make a team’s final 53-man roster or play in a regular-season game, despite spending time on the then-St. Louis Rams’ squad during the preseason and on the Dallas Cowboys’ regular-season practice squad.
Nonetheless, Nassib’s agreement to match donations to The Trevor Project could be quite beneficial to a community that has found itself under attack over the past few years, especially youth who identify as transgender, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming.
Several state legislatures have passed bills seeking to restrict LGBTQ rights, including barring trans youth from competing on sports teams matching their gender identity.
According to The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, 45% of LGBTQ youth have seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.
By ensuring the organization receives at least $200,000 this year, Nassib is providing money that can be used to train crisis counselors, continue its current support services for youth struggling with depression or suicidal ideation, and expand its research and education programs.
“We’re so grateful to Carl for his public commitment to supporting LGBTQ youth mental health,” Amit Paley, the CEO and executive director of The Trevor Project, said in a statement.
“Carl has inspired others to live their own truth, donate to The Trevor Project’s life-saving mission, and to accept and support the LGBTQ people in their lives. Our research has found that over 80% of youth said that celebrities who are LGBTQ positively impact how they feel about being LGBTQ.
“We need more champions like Carl who empower LGBTQ young people and help them see a bright future for themselves.”
Those interested in donating to The Trevor Project can contribute by visiting TRVR.org/CarlMatch.
For more on The Trevor Project’s programs, research, and other initiatives, visit www.thetrevorproject.org.
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