Carl Nassib Supported by JJ Watt, Saquon Barkley and More Fellow NFL Players After Coming Out

Julian Edelman called Carl Nassib's announcement an "awesome moment," praising his $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project as a "very classy move"

Carl Nassib, JJ Watt, Saquon Barkley
From L to R: Saquon Barkley, Carl Nassib and JJ Wat. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images; AP/Shutterstock; Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

The professional football community is rallying around Carl Nassib after the Las Vegas Raiders defensive end came out as gay on Monday.

Following Nassib's announcement, the NFL posted a pair of images of him overlaid with supportive comments from several other players, including Saquon Barkley, Malcolm Jenkins, Julian Edelman and Tae Davis.

"Much respect brudda ✊🏾," wrote Barkley, 24, alongside a retweet of Nassib's Monday announcement video.

Edelman, 35, called Nassib's announcement an "awesome moment," praising his $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project as a "very classy move."

Wrote JJ Watt in his own retweet, "Good for you Carl. Glad you feel comfortable enough to share and hopefully someday these types of announcements will no longer be considered breaking news."

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Nassib, 28, became the first active NFL player to publicly come out, saying in a video filmed at his home in West Chester, Pennsylvania, "I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I'm gay. I've been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest."

"I'm a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I'm really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important," he continued in the video, which he shared in an Instagram post. "I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming-out process are just not necessary."

"But until then, you know, I'm going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that's accepting, that's compassionate, and I'm gonna start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project," Nassib said, adding in a written statement included in the post that he feels an "immense responsibility to help in any way [he] can."

"I'm really pumped for what the future holds," the Penn State University alum added in his video message.

"We're proud of you, Carl. ❤️," the official NFL account commented on his post. The Las Vegas Raiders also shared Nassib's statement on Twitter, writing, "Proud of you, Carl."

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell even issued a statement of his own following Nassib's coming-out video.

"The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today. Representation matters," wrote Goodell, 62. "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."

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While a number of NFL pros have come out after their careers, an openly gay player has never played in a regular season game, according to NBC Sports. Michael Sam came out in 2014 and became the first openly gay player to be drafted, but only played in the preseason, NPR reported.

Nassib added in his written statement that he feels "especially thankful to have had so much support when many who came before — and many even now — do not."

"I stand on the shoulders of giants, incredible people who paved the way for me to have this opportunity," he said. "I do not know all the history behind our courageous LGBTQ community, but I am eager to learn and to help continue the fight for equality and acceptance."

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