Carl Nassib, who became the first active NFL player to come out publicly, is opening up in his first official interview since telling the world he is gay back in June.
Nassib appeared on Blue Wire’s “Comeback Stories” podcast to discuss his coming out experience, and even revealed the status of his current love life, telling hosts, “I met an awesome guy. He’s the best.”
The defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders shared the buildup to his decision to come out, revealing the he only realized he was gay four years prior. Nassib explained that he wanted to establish himself in the league before announcing the personal news. When he was single, he said, it felt like there was something missing in his life.
“I was really jealous of people who went through life as being somebody else’s number one priority,” he said. “As you get older, everybody’s priorities shift … Late at night, you’re just like, ‘OK, am I anyone’s number one priority?’ And that’s just the one thing that I wanted. I just wanted to be someone’s number one priority and I couldn’t have that.
He added, “But I got that now, so it’s good.”
On who the lucky guy is, a rep for Nassib declined to comment when reached by TODAY.com.
The 28-year-old also discussed his coming out, telling the podcast hosts he had planned to make the announcement in 2020 but changed his mind in part because of the pandemic.
“Coming out as gay is something that for awhile I wanted to do and just wanted to wait for the right moment,” he said. “I wanted to do it last year with the Raiders but 2020 was such a mess and we weren’t even allowed to hang out with each other outside of the building. I didn’t know anybody on the team. I didn’t really have a vibe for it, so I really didn’t feel comfortable enough to do it. I wanted to make sure that they guys I went to work with every single day were good dudes, were accepting dudes.”
Nassib said his decision wasn’t rooted in wanting to make history in the league, but rather in wanting to support the LGBTQ community.
“I didn’t really do it to break barriers,” he said. “I did it because I felt an obligation to the LGBTQ community to bring representation and bring visibility to a very, very popular entertainment business, to a very very popular industry that doesn’t have a lot of representation.”
Though he described being the only out gay man in the NFL as “stressful,” Nassib said things have gotten better since training camp.
“I just want to normalize things,” he explained. “I really don’t think too often going through life as a gay man. I just hope one day that won’t even have to cross your mind because it barely crosses my mind. It was a big weight put on my shoulders but now I think it’s slowly coming off.”
Nassib made history in June when he announced in a video on his Instagram that he is gay. He addressed the news in a short video clip alongside screenshots of a written statement he shared in his post.
“I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” he said, in part, in the clip. “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.”
Nassib clarified that he is a private person and wasn’t making the announcement for attention, but rather to embrace the importance of representation and visibility.
He continued his announcement, adding, “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.”