The defensive end of Las Vegas Raider, Carl Nassib, marked the first time an active NFL player to come out as gay on Monday.
The 28-year-old recorded an announcement video from his home in Pennsylvania.
“I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest,” he said in the video he uploaded on Instagram.
“I really have the best life. I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for. I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know I’m really not doing this for attention,” the athlete said.
“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. But until then, I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate,” he furthered.
He also pledged $100, 000 to a group that prevents suicide among young members of the LGBTQ.
Along his video, he wrote a statement saying he “have agonized this moment for the last 15 years” and furthered that “only recently” he “did it seem possible for me to say publicly that I’m gay” because of the support of his loved ones.
“I truly love my life and cannot understand why I have been blessed with so much. I feel especially thankful to have had so much support when many who came before – and many even now – do not,” he said. “I stand on the shoulders of giants, incredible people who paved the way for me to have this opportunity.”
Many other NFL players have come out of the closet, but only when their career ended. In 2014, Michael Sam became the first openly gay athlete in the NFL. He, however, was cut by the St. Louis Rams prior to the kick off of a regular season.