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Carl Nassib, a defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, has come out as gay becoming the first openly gay active player in the NFL.

Nassib came out in a post on Instagram writing, “Hey everyone, happy Pride Month. Right now, I am sitting in a moment of gratitude and relief. Sadly I have agonized over this moment for the last 15 years. Only until recently, thanks to my family and friends, especially Connor, Cason, and Francis, did it seem possible for me to say publicly and proudly that I’m gay. I am also incredibly thankful for the NFL, my coaches, and fellow players for their support. I would not have been able to do this without them. From the jump, I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance.”

Nassib continued, “I truly love my life and cannot understand why I have been blessed with so much. I feel 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. 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.

Nassib concluded, “As I mentioned in my video message, I am partnering 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. Young LGBTQ kids are over 5X more likely than their straight friends to consider suicide. For someone like me, who has been so lucky and cherishes every day, it brings me incredible sadness to think that our LGBTQ youth are at such an elevated risk for suicide. I feel an immense responsibility to help in any way I can – and you can too. Studies have shown that all it takes is one accepting adult to decrease the risk of an LGBTQ kid attempting suicide by 40%. Whether you’re a friend, a parent, a coach, or a teammate – you can be that person.”

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.