Happy Pride everyone!
With football still months away, the news dominating the cycle this week has been about Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib, who used the message of the month to share some very personal and historic news: he’s here, he’s queer, and he wants to make a difference.
Nassib’s announcement making him the first active NFL player to be openly gay was coupled with a $100,000 donation by Nassib to the Trevor Project, a foundation focused on suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ+ youth in America.
Said Nassib of his announcement: “I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that one day videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary.”
And quite frankly, I agree with Carl. The days of someone’s sexual preferences being breaking news needs to fade into the past. Moments like these will undoubtedly give courage to young people who are still struggling to accept and share their identity with the world, but that very mindset which has been so pervasive in our culture is what needs to change. Whether it’s Carl Nassib, Kumi Yokoyama, your barber, or your best friend, nothing else about these people change. They’re still who they are, they’ve just decided to share an incredibly personal part of their life because we as a society have decided that homosexuality is something about which to be disgusted or abhorred, and they’re done hiding their identity.
Now, NFL analysts and media personalities alike have come out of the woodwork to hop on the appeasement bandwagon, hoping to shore up their follower count by jumping on a true moment of vulnerability by a young man looking to spread hope, love, and inspiration. The litany of articles, tweets, and messages of thinly veiled “support” seem hypocritical and insincere from so many of those who have shown their gross indifference towards LGBTQ+ people and their struggles in the past. However, Nassib has received genuine support from teammates and coaches alike, who flocked to Twitter to show love.
Moving forward, Nassib seems to be ushering in a new era in the NFL: one of acceptance, normalcy, and understanding in a community largely thought to be a masculine boys-club. His announcement also speaks volumes about the locker room, as Nassib would not have made this announcement if he felt endangered by doing so. It brings me joy that Carl can live his life exactly how he sees fit, free of criticism, persecution, and judgement.
Carl is also already doing great things for the brand by coming out and breaking down stereotypical walls about gays: specifically, their inability to do math.
And so with that, from me and all of us here at NZone, we say congratulations Carl. Keep on being yourself, and we’ll do our part to make the world a better place for you and other LGBTQ+ people to live their lives.
(Featured Image Credit: politics406.com)