Las Vegas Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock told reporters at a press conference today defensive end Carl Nassib, the only out gay player in the NFL, requested a personal day today to process the news of now-former head coach Jon Gruden’s homophobic emails.
The request was granted.
Mayock added that he and Nassib have been meeting one on one and plan to meet again later today.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 13, 2021
Today’s presser was the first time Raiders officials publicly addressed the resignation of Gruden after a trove of emails revealed he had a very casual relationship with the homophobic slur “faggot.”
Gruden resigned his position Monday after seven years of emails (from 2011-2018) revealed Gruden used homophobic, racist and misogynistic remarks in numerous emails to NFL officials while he was a lead analyst for ESPN. The New York Times was first to issue a detailed report.
It’s worth noting that for years (remember the 2014 Michael Sam draft), word among the NFL was that an openly gay player could become a “distraction.” It’s undeniably ironic that the “distraction” today would turn out to be a coach’s homophobic emails.
And it’s understandable that Nassib, as the only out gay player in the league, would want to take day to process all this. It’s not like there are other out gay players for Nassib to commiserate with.
Raiders DE Carl Nassib, the NFL’s first openly out player, has been quietly kicking ass this year. The notion of him having to deal with this story makes me furious.
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) October 12, 2021
When Nassib came out in June, he said in a video message, “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” He added, “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 to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate.”
So far in the regular season Nassib has racked up seven solo tackles, two sacks and was instrumental in an important season-opening fumble that helped the Raiders beat Baltimore. He’s doing his job.
Anyone who has ever taken part in a highly intensive sport knows the mental commitment players give to their coach, their leader. But four months after successfully navigating coming out, Nassib finds out his coach had called the league commissioner a “faggot” and had ranted about the St. Louis Rams being “pressured” to draft a “queer.”
So if Nassib wants a day to process this whole email kerfuffle, good for him for taking it.
When Raiders DE Carl Nassib came out as gay and people asked "who cares? Why does it matter?"
This is why it mattered. Because it turned out to be his own head coach sending homophobic emails less than three years ago.
— Vanessa Richardson (@SportsVanessa) October 12, 2021