(AP) – Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib on Monday became the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he wasn’t doing it for the attention but because he felt representation and visibility were important.
“I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in his video message from his home in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest.
“I really have the best life. I got the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for. 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.”
Nassib added in a written message that followed the video that he “agonized over this moment for the last 15 years” and only recently decided to go public with his sexuality after receiving the support of family and friends.
The Raiders showed their support, writing, “Proud of you, Carl,” on their repost of Nassib’s message on Twitter and adding a black heart emoji.
Nassib also said in his short video message that he was donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a nonprofit that seeks to prevent suicides among LGBTQ youth.