NFL’s First Out Gay Player Carl Nassib Retires

NFL’s First Out Gay Player Carl Nassib Retires
Image: Carl Nassib. Image: Instagram

Carl Nassib, the first out gay NFL player, announced his retirement from the game on Wednesday, describing it as a “bittersweet moment”. 

Nassib took to social media to announce his retirement. “This is a bittersweet moment for me but after seven seasons and just over 100 NFL games I am officially retiring from football to focus on my company Rayze.”

“It really feels like just yesterday starting out as a walk-on at Penn State. Football has given me more than I ever could have imagined. I can truly hang up my helmet for the last time knowing I gave it everything I had,” said Nassib. 

In 2021, Nassib, who was then with the Las Vegas Raiders, came out as gay in an Instagram post, becoming the first out gay active player in the history of the NFL. 

Working With NFL On DEI

Nassib thanked his family, friends and his agent Brian Ayrault.  “Brian was the first person in the football industry I came out to and he didn’t blink. He encouraged and motivated me to follow through with my announcement and to make as big of an impact as I possibly could.”\

The 30-year-old also thanked his teammates, and coaches for being supportive of him. “Growing up I loved how fun football was. I loved the pursuit of perfection. I loved the small window where every player has to chase their dreams. It makes it all the more exciting if you get there. It was always my dream to play in the NFL, even as a walk-on, and I really feel like the luckiest guy on the planet,” said Nassib. 

Nassib said he looked forward to working with the NFL on diversity, equity and inclusion issues. And was excited for the next chapter in his life. 

Coming Out


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A post shared by Carl Nassib (@carlnassib)

Nassib came out as gay in 2021 in a short video. “I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” the then 28-year-old said. 

Nassib said he had “agonised” over the decision to come out for around 15 years.

“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.”

Carl Nassib and boyfriend Søren Dahl. Images: Instagram

“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.”

In July, Nassib had posted photos of his boyfriend Olympic Danish swimmer Søren Dahl. Happy birthday to the best boyfriend I could dream of. Thanks for laughing at my jokes. Jeg elsker dig så meget (I love you so much in Danish) .”

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