Carl Nassib, the first active NFL player to come out as gay, has reportedly signed a one-year deal to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the news Monday evening on Twitter.
Nassib previously played for the Buccaneers in 2018 and 2019. He signed with the Las Vegas Raiders in March 2020.
Last June, ahead of the 2021 NFL season, he posted a coming out video on Instagram. “I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said. “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest.”
“I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I’m not doing this for attention,” he continued. “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.”
Nassib also pledged a $100,000 donation to the Trevor Project, which works to prevent suicide amongst LGBTQ youth.
During an August 2021 press conference going into the NFL preseason spoke to reporters for the first time about coming out. “I was definitely surprised by the big reaction. It was incredible,” he said. “I thought nobody would care. But it was such a good feeling to have all the support. I was glad I could do my part to help bring visibility and representation to my community.”
In October, he sat down for a podcast interview in which he spoke more in-depth about coming out. “I thought about it every once in a while,” Nassib said. “Thought about how I wanted to do it. When I could do it. I didn’t know how people would react. I wanted to make sure I was financially stable before I did it. I didn’t know if it would ruin my career. I didn’t know if guys would be supportive or not.”
“I didn’t do it to break barriers,” he continued. “I did it because I felt an obligation to the LGBTQ community to bring representation and visibility to a very popular entertainment business, to a very popular industry that doesn’t have a lot of representation.”
Fans cheered Nassib’s signing with the Florida team on Twitter, with a few joking that the news was likely to rankle the state’s anti-LGBTQ Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
Deathsantis is not happy with this move which makes me happy.
— CaptainBrady (@cptsorabrady) August 15, 2022
Ron DeSantis ain’t happy
— Kyle Treats 🦬 (@KyleTreats) August 15, 2022