Carl Nassib’s jersey became the top-selling NFL jersey after the Las Vegas Raiders defensive end became the first active NFL player to come out as gay this week.
On both Monday and Tuesday, more fans bought Nassib’s No. 94 jersey on the Fanatics platform than any other NFL player’s jersey, ESPN reported.
Several sizes of Nassib’s jersey have already sold out on the Fanatics website. Fanatics operates the official e-commerce websites of major professional sports leagues including the NFL, NBA, and MLB.
The Raiders defensive lineman came out as gay in an Instagram post on Monday.
The NFL family is proud of you, Carl. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/HXbcBuLg2X
— NFL (@NFL) June 21, 2021
“What’s up, people? I’m at my house in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in a video message.
“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.
“I really have the best life. I’ve got the best family, friends, and job a guy could ask for,” Nassib continued. “I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. 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,” Nassib said. “But until then I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate.”
Nassib also announced that he is donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention service for LGBTQ youth.
Last year, Nassib signed a three-year, $25 million deal with the Raiders. He was first drafted in 2016 by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the NFL draft.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell put out a statement of support for Nassib on Monday.
“The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today. Representation matters,” Goodell said. “We share his hope that someday soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season.”
In 2014, former NFL player Michael Sam became the the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL, but he never played during the regular season. Sam thanked Nassib in a tweet on Tuesday.
“Carl Nassib thank you for owning your truth,” Sam wrote, “and especially your donation to the @TrevorProject. LBGTQ people are more likely to commit suicide than heterosexuals. I hope and pray people will take note to this. Thank you again Carl and look forward to seeing you play on the field.”
Nassib also put out a written statement on his decision to come out, wishing fans a “Happy Pride Month.”
“I am sitting in a moment of gratitude and relief,” Nassib wrote. “Sadly, I have agonized over this moment for the last 15 years.”
Nassib said he can now say “publicly and proudly that I’m gay,” and added that he is “incredibly thankful for the NFL, my coaches, and fellow players for their support. I would not have been able to do this without them.”
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