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NFL player Carl Nassib ‘agonised’ over coming out as gay

"The last thing I said was like, 'You know what – for the kids.' And: pressed post."

By Emily Maskell

Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: GMA

NFL player Carl Nassib reflects on coming out on social media, noting it was something he “agonised” over.

The 29-year-old made history as the first active NFL player to come out as gay when he posted a heartfelt coming-out post on Instagram last year.

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A post shared by Carl Nassib (@carlnassib)

In the post, he said: “What’s up people, I’m Carl Nassib, I’m at my house here in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay.”

The former Las Vegas Raiders defender reminisces that his decision to be public with the fact he’s gay stemmed from his hope to create a positive conversation around sexual orientation in society and the sporting world. 

“I stared at the phone for, like, an hour just looking at it, trying to hype myself up,” Nassib told former NFL star Michael Strahan on Good Morning America. “The last thing I said was like, ‘You know what – for the kids.’ And: pressed post.”

He went on to note: “Really struggling with who you are and trying to figure out that side of your life was definitely a tough part.”

Nassib clarifies he came out to his close friends and family “years ago” but there were “definitely was some difficult times” over the 15 years as he considered sharing that he was gay publicly.

“And I wanted to do it publicly because I wanted to stay ahead of the narrative,” he said. “I just wanted to own the story and make sure I did it on my terms. One of my biggest fears was that I would only be remembered for being gay.”

Nassib also remarked that coming out to his fellow teammates in the locker room wasn’t something he “wasn’t scared about that at all,” due to his “great relationship” with his teammates.

His coming out post was met with a wave of support including his then-team who tweeted: “Proud of you, Carl”.

“[I] actually hope that one day videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary,” he said.

“When people come out, they’re coming out of the closet because they’re afraid. They have fear that they’re gonna have negative impact on their life, on their relationships, on their job.”

He added: “I just hoped that one day we don’t have those fears – that’s the society I hope for one day. And I hope I can be a positive push in that direction.”

Watch Carl’s GMA interview below.

The Attitude July/August issue is out now.