The NFL posted a video to their official Twitter account Monday announcing their unequivocal support of the LGBTQ community.
The 30-second clip began with the words “football is gay” in all white, contrasted against a black screen. This text was followed by a series of slogans with the same theme: football is lesbian, football is transgender, football is for everyone.
Towards the end of the video, the sports league declared, “NFL Proudly Supports The Trevor Project”, the largest organization for LGBT youth suicide prevention.
This announcement came a week after Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib made history when he became the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
“I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in a video posted to Instagram. “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest.”
Along with the video, Nassib released a statement thanking his friends, family and teammates for their support and announcing his partnership with The Trevor Project.
“I was immediately drawn to The Trevor Project when I learned about their mission to provide suicide prevention services to the LGBTQ community,” He wrote in the statement. “Young LGBTQ kids are 5x more likely than their straight friends to consider suicide. For someone like me, who has been so lucky and cherishes everyday, it brings me incredible sadness to think that our LGBTQ youth are at such an elevated risk for suicide.”
Following his announcement, Nassib received overwhelming support from fans and players alike. “Carl, as a football fan and a dad of a LBGTQ child, I want to thank you for coming out,” read one comment on his Instagram post.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also congratulated Nassib, telling Outsports in a statement: “The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today. Representation matters. We share his hope that someday soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season.”
However, the news was quick to gain controversy as members of the LGBTQ+ community discovered Nassib is a registered republican.
Aaron Aceves, a bisexual and Latino author, posted a TikTok commenting on why Nassib’s political idenity shouldn’t be overlooked.
“The thing that really just doesn’t sit right with me is [the idea] that going forward as long as the person is a prominent person and queer, their politics don’t matter; their morals don’t matter,” Aceves said in the post.
As Pride month rounds down, Nassib’s coming out marks a historic, if not controversial, moment for LGBTQ+ athletes.