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Photo: Julio Aguilar via Getty Images

Las Vegas Raiders player Carl Nassib becomes the first active NFL player in history to come out as gay on Monday.

Driving the news: Nassib said he was coming out now because "representation and visibility are so important" and he will be donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention service for LGBTQ youth in the U.S.

  • The NFL has "plenty of" members of the LGTBQ community, but the vast majority are closeted due to fear that their identity will negatively impact their career, former NFL player Ryan O'Callaghan told Reuters in 2019.

What he's saying: "What’s up people," Nassib posted on Instagram. "I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest."

  • "I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important," he said.
  • "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 and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project."

The big picture: Several former NFL players have come out as queer after retiring, according to Out Magazine.

  • "I think it's safe to say there's at least one on every team who is either gay or bisexual," said O'Callaghan, who published a book in 2019 that detailed the mental distress of passing for straight in the NFL.
  • Former running back Dave Kopay was the first major professional athlete to come out in any sport in 1975, three years after his retirement. He later encountered obstacles to becoming a coach due to his sexuality, the University of Washington Magazine reports.
  • In 2014, Michael Sam became the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team, but he stepped away from football a year later for mental health reasons.

Go deeper

Sep 8, 2021 - Sports

Three retired NFL players plead guilty to health care fraud scheme

Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis during a game at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on Sept. 4, 2008. Photo: Getty Images

Three retired NFL players pleaded guilty to numerous fraud charges related to a nationwide health care fraud scheme, bringing the total number of retired athletes who have pleaded guilty to 15, the Department of Justice said Tuesday.

Driving the news: The three defendants admitted to defrauding the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan. The fund, created in 2006, gives tax-free reimbursements of up up to $350,000 per player for out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Ina Fried, author of Login
40 mins ago - Technology

Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Microsoft announced Tuesday it plans to acquire video game giant Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash.

Why it matters: The move comes as Activision Blizzard has faced a wave of accusations of workplace harassment.

1 hour ago - World

Blinken to visit Ukraine as Russia invasion threat looms

Blinken (R) with President Zelensky. Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/Pool via Getty

Secretary of State Antony Tony Blinken will travel to Ukraine on Tuesday as the country faces an ongoing threat of Russian invasion.

Driving the news: Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, as well as officials at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv to discuss contingency planning. He'll then travel to Berlin to meet German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and attend a meeting of the "Transatlantic Quad" — France, Germany, the U.K. and U.S.

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