He Made History, and Maybe the Play of the Game

Carl Nassib becomes first openly gay player to play in NFL game
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2021 8:07 AM CDT
Historic Moment, Big Play, Strange Choice of Words
Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib attends a news conference after Monday's game.   (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The game was going to be memorable for Carl Nassib no matter what happened, but making a huge play in overtime made it even more so. When the Las Vegas Raiders defensive end stepped on the field Monday night, he became the first openly gay player to play in a regular-season NFL game, reports USA Today. (Nassib came out publicly as gay back in June.) In Monday's game, Nassib forced a fumble from Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, which set up the Raiders' game-winning touchdown a few plays later in the 33-27 victory.

“I’m happy we got the win on the day I kind of made a little bit of history, which was really, really nice to do,’’ said Nassib. “I had a lot of people come before me in the LGBTQ community that helped me get to where I am, and I’m super thankful for that.’’ NBC Sports notes that a reporter informed Nassib he had inspired a young fan to attend his first NFL game, clad in a Nassib uniform. "That's amazing," Nassib responded.

One weird element of Nassib's big play was the breakdown of what happened by Ryan Clark of ESPN on SportsCenter later, notes Brobible. Clark described Nassib as running "butt booty naked" before forcing the fumble. His choice of words (Clark was referring to Nassib's clear path to the QB) raised eyebrows on social media, with many predicting Clark would have to apologize soon. (Michael Sam was another openly gay football player, though he never played in a regular-season game.)

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