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Carl Nassib Recognized At 2022 NFL Honors For LGBTQ+ Advocacy

Former Penn State and current Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib earned some major recognition at the 2022 NFL Honors ceremony for his advocacy efforts on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community.

Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin introduced the video package honoring Nassib. Before doing so, he offered some personal remarks about Nassib’s coming out and its effect on his family.

“Last year, a one-minute Instagram video had an impact that is impossible to measure,” Irvin said. “It declared unequivocally that members of the LGBTQ+ community [could] compete at the highest level in the National Football League.”

Irvin was referencing Nassib’s viral Instagram post in which the former Nittany Lion publicly became the first active NFL player to come out as gay.

Irvin continued with a personal anecdote about his brother, who is also gay.

“Years ago, when I learned my brother Vaughn was gay, news like that would have been a ‘stop the presses’ kind of moment,” Irvin said. “Instead, it was greeted warmly and widely by the NFL family and the world at large. But, we cannot underestimate what that single message meant to countless athletes and other members of the community, who have long hid their true selves out of fear.”

A video montage began, splicing news clips, highlights, and talking-head interviews with members of the community that Nassib deeply touched.

Among those interviewed were past and current football players, as well as front office executives and a representative from the Trevor Project, a philanthropic organization focused on preventing suicide in the LGBTQ+ community. Those interviewed described their struggles and the inspiration that Nassib served.

“When Carl put out that video as an out, proud gay man, it got everyone in the football world talking about us,” said Sam Rapoport, the NFL’s senior director of diversity and inclusion. “That dialogue and that representation moved us all a step forward in this country, and we’re all forever grateful to you.”

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to [email protected] or @SamFremin on Twitter.

He may or may not read every single comment he gets.

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