Carl Nassib, first professional American football player to come out

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“I think representation and visibility [of the LGBT+ community] is so important,” the 28-year-old says in a video on Instagram.

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Las Vegas Raiders player Carl Nassib became the first player in the professional American football league, the NFL, to come out as gay in a video posted on Instagram on Monday 21 June. I just wanted to take a moment to say I’m gay, “he said in the video. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while but I finally feel comfortable enough to take the weight off my shoulders.”

The 28-year-old defensive end is the first active NFL player to come out. Several players have come out after retiring from the sport, the most watched in the US. He said he hoped his example would make other gay athletes more visible.

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“Representation and visibility are so important

“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you understand that I’m not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility [of the LGBT+ community] is so important,” he said. “By the way, I hope that one day videos like this and the whole coming out process will no longer be necessary, but until then I will do my best and everything I can to develop a tolerant and compassionate culture,” he added.

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In his video, Carl Nassib also announced that he is donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project, a non-profit organisation that works to prevent suicide among young people from the LGBT+ community in the US. “I really do have the best life, the best family, the best friends and the best job a guy could ask for,” the player said.

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