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Defector Up All Night

Breaking: Raiders DE Carl Nassib Is At His House In West Chester, Pennsylvania

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 15: Carl Nassib #94 of the Las Vegas Raiders flexes during warmups before a game against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 37-12. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Among other things we learned in this short Instagram video is that Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib is the first openly gay active NFL player:

“What’s up people. 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.”

This feels, simultaneously, like big news and the sort of news to which I can only say “huh.” That’s a little wild to think, given the hullaballoo around the drafting of Michael Sam in 2014, and maybe I’m giving humanity a little too much credit, but I don’t expect this to be a particularly huge story or fodder for the culture war. Nassib is just a veteran NFL player, and a productive one, and he’s got a secure roster spot and a nice little contract and he’s gay. That this milestone was finally reached so unspectacularly, with a self-shot video of a guy chatting in his yard, feels sort of right and good.

However it is, obviously, a big deal for him, and a big deal for a lot of people. Good for Carl. And if you’d like to donate to the Trevor Project, you can learn more about what they do here and give your money here.

Thank you for your continued support of Defector. See you tomorrow.