A Touchdown for the LGBTQIA+ Community

A+Touchdown+for+the+LGBTQIA%2B+Community

Julia Veres, Managing Editor

Carl Nassib made history in the NFL last year when he became the first gay athlete to play in a NFL game. Approaching the 2022 season, his seventh in the league, he is continuing to be a historic and game changing player for the NFL, and for the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Nassib came out on June 21, 2021 via his social media and was met immediately with support. This support came not just from his team, who donated $100,000 to the Trevor Project, which is an organization working to prevent suicide in queer youth. The support also came from the NFL as an organization. Still under contract, he played full season with the Las Vegas Raiders. He was released at the end of the season because, as NBC news describes, he wasn’t a “cost efficient rusher” for the Raiders. The release was expected, no matter what his sexuality.

He ended last year as a free agent, and now he has been signed to a Super Bowl contention team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cathy Renna, a spokesperson for the Nation L.G.B.T.Q. Task force said that ‘“sports are, in many ways, one of the last bastions of a place where homophobia can thrive’” but having ‘“a professional athlete of that caliber, particularly in one of the major sports leagues like the N.F.L., it really is historic.”’

Nassib will start his 2022 season with the Buccaneers on Sunday, September 11 at 7:20 PM.