Carl Nassib is garnering support across the NFL after becoming the league's first openly gay active player. The men who lead Nassib's current club are among those providing encouragement.
Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden offered his support as Nassib enters his second season with the club.
"I learned a long time ago what makes a man different is what makes him great," Gruden said, via Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Likewise, Raiders owner Mark Davis backed Nassib's courage in coming out during Pride Month.
"These are personal decisions," the owner said, per Ed Graney of the Review-Journal. "It's 2021 and he's a Raider. If he's happy, I'm happy. It takes courage. I thought we got to the point where this wasn't (a story). It doesn't change my opinion of him as a man or as a Raider."
Nassib announced he was gay in a social media post Monday, making NFL history.
"I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I'm gay," the 28-year-old defensive end said on Instagram. "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.
"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 and I'm going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project. They're an incredible organization, they're the number one suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America."
Nassib, a third-round pick out of Penn State in 2016, played for the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before joining the Raiders last season.
The outpouring of support flooded Nassib's way following his historic announcement. From NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to former Penn St. teammate Saquon Barkley to star defensive lineman J.J. Watt and many others.
Nassib's courageous announcement is the first and largest stepping stone in the NFL, and the sporting world at large, on a path toward openness, acceptance and equality. For that, he will be forever cheered.