Carl Nassib Officially Joins Raider’s Roster For 2021-22

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Carl Nassib has officially kept his job with the Las Vegas Raiders.

In June, Carl Nassib made NFL history by becoming the first gay man to come out while actively playing in the league. He also used his coming out to promote the Trevor Project, an organization that focuses on the suicide prevention of LGBTQ people and specifically LGBTQ youth. Nassib even donated $100,000 to the charity and community support group.

Thankfully, Nassib’s current team, the Las Vegas Raiders, has been fully supportive of him since he came out. And now, they’ve confirmed that by keeping him on the team. According to OutSports, Nassib has made the final roster for the Las Vegas Raiders. This makes him the first openly gay athlete to play in a regular-season game.

So, ultimately, the 28-year-old starting defensive end with six years in the NFL under his belt kept his job. Is that exciting news? Yes, considering the circumstances.

Michael Sam (Instagram) and Carl Nassib (Instagram)

Related: Michael Sam Responds To Carl Nassib’s Coming Out Message

When Michael Sam came out in 2014, he became the first publicly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. Sam went on to appear in several preseason games before later being cut by the St. Louis Rams. After attempting to make it into the Dallas Cowboys, and later being waived for linebacker Troy Davis, Sam transitioned into playing for Canada’s football league in 2015. He became the first openly gay player in that league’s history, but then retired a few months later due to mental health issues.

With that history in mind, the fact that Carl Nassib has stayed on with the Las Vegas Raiders is a triumph. That and the fact that Nassib’s performance for the team has been all but stellar. Despite signing a three-year deal with $16.7 million guaranteed, Nassib only had 2.5 sacks and five tackles in the past season, according to Raiders Wire. This led to a readjustment to his contract (prior to Nassib’s coming out) and even getting benched in 2020, as the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last year.

But it seems that past issues or not, Nassib has the backing of his teammates. After coming out, Carl Nassib shared that he was touched by the support and brotherhood he felt with his teammates.

“We’ve got a great locker room, great teammates,” Nassib said. “I’ve been met with nothing but love and support. It has been incredible. Football players get a bad wrap. But we’re humble, hard-working, accepting people. This was a great example of that.”

This is a viewpoint that quarterback Derek Carr shared in his own statement post-Nassib’s coming out.

“Not one person, from my point of view, has treated him any different,” quarterback Derek Carr told ESPN in August, at the beginning of the league’s preseason. “I just want to make sure that he knows that, man, we just want him to play as hard as he can so we can win a Super Bowl. That’s what we’re here to do.”

We’re excited to see how Carl Nassib fairs in the upcoming football season. Will he get more support than Michael Sam did? Will he have overcome his issues from the past season? We’ll see soon.


Source: OutSports, Raiders Wire, the Las Vegas Review-Journal

3 thoughts on “Carl Nassib Officially Joins Raider’s Roster For 2021-22”

  1. It’s surprising that Devin did enough research (and even provided the receipts with decent to legit links) to make this article read as more intelligent than both his usual (on this site) and what Instinct typically publishes. And while I would disagree with what Outsports did (where they ran a similar article which was slanted more to that it would cost the Raiders money if they hadn’t put him on the roster), both stories have their faults (with this one being the lesser of two somewhat so-so choices); Nassib making the official roster is definitely news, and of note to the audience Instinct (and Outsports) purport to serve.

    As far as the “performance past,” it’s really a disservice to both Nassib and to the readers of Instinct that this is written (whether Devin wrote the headline or not, the content is in his story) without context, context that would evaluate Nassib in relation to the defense of the Raiders in 2020 and in recent history, as well as his past performance. In particular, even though the NFL had more success with COVID issues than say the college ball game and other leagues, both amateur and professional, 2020 is going to end up being viewed as an outlier as far as performance and metrics go. No one is going to asterisk any of the accomplishments of either an individual or a team in the record books, but the Olympics is a prime example of how, even a good year plus after the pandemic was an worldwide concern, performances were impacted.

    In particular, it could even be relevant that Nassib’s team accepted the renegotiation (as the Raider fan site linked to alluded but didn’t clarify, it was not a top down decision, but one which had to be agreed to by the parties) and the extent to which such factors played into his mental health (and how that impacted his 2020 performance), versus looking back at this time next year and seeing if his 2021 performance, post coming-out, reflects an improvement.

    Additionally, making the roster is largely a factor of pre-season performance – once other matters like contracts and trades are taken into account, so really if Devin wants to talk about Nassib making it past pre-season to the official roster/official season, THAT’s what he really wants to discuss, not a year ago, or prior contracts.

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  2. This is great news! Can’t wait to see a gay guy play who is on my favorite team. I realize there have been many gay guys to play for the NFL just not out or still not out.

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