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Raiders Releasing Groundbreaking Gay Football Player Carl Nassib

Carl Nassib

The release appears to have nothing to do with his identity and everything to do with his salary.

The Las Vegas Raiders are releasing defensive end Carl Nassib, the first NFL player to come out while active and signed to a team.

Nassib came out as gay in an Instagram video last June. "I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I'm gay," he said in the video. "I've been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends, and job a guy can ask for. 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 also announced a $100,000 donation to the Trevor Project.

Nassib's announcement was met with public support from around the league, and his release appears to have nothing to do with his identity. The Raiders will save his $7.75 million base salary, which reports hasn't been justified by his performance. His release was covered by several outlets, including ESPN and NFL Network.

His salary "was too rich for a player who played just 242 defensive snaps and earned 1.5 sacks last season," notes. Defensive snaps are defensive plays in which a player participated, and sacks are the tackling of a quarterback making a forward pass.

The release means Nassib can sign with any other team, and he's valuable enough that some team will likely tap him, although probably at a lower salary, according to the website.

Nassib said last year that coming out had lifted "a great weight" off him. He told ESPN that he had been received "nothing but love and support" from teammates, which he expected, but he was surprised by the amount of public interest in his coming-out. "It was incredible," he said. "I thought nobody would care. But it was just such a good feeling to have all that support. I was glad to do my part to help bring visibility and representation to my community."

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