A day after coming out as gay, Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib has the NFL’s top-selling jersey across the Fantatics network the past two days, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. In fact, several sizes of Nassib’s No. 94 jersey have already sold out on the Fanatics website.
The news comes less than a day after Nassib became the first active player in NFL history to come out as gay. Nassib follows in the footsteps of former Rams defensive end Michael Sam, who never played in a regular-season game after becoming the first openly gay player to be selected in the NFL Draft in 2014. Nassib also announced that he was donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project, a confidential crisis support service for LGBTQ youth.
“I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest,” Nassib said on his Instagram account. “I really have the best life. I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for.”
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Along with thanking his family and friends, Nassib thanked the NFL, coaches and players for their support while feeling “the utmost respect and acceptance.” Along with various current and former NFL players (a list that includes former Raiders great Bo Jackson), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell offered his support of Nassib in a statement on Monday night. The Raiders also offered their support of Nassib via Twitter.
“I am a lanky walk-on who is living his dream,” Nassib wrote on Instagram. “I only have a small window to achieve greatness in my sport and I owe it to my team, coaches, and Raider fans to be completely locked in and at my best for the upcoming season. I’m a private person, so I’d ask the media to give me some space as I navigate this exciting time in my life. Please do not take it personally if I decline an interview or am unable to answer your questions. Thank you everyone for your support. Happy Pride Month and Go Raiders.”
The 65th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Nassib spent his first two seasons with the Browns before signing with the Buccaneers, where he recorded 12.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss over a two-year span. The former Penn State standout tallied 28 tackles, 2.5 sacks, five passes defended and his first career interception during his first season with the Raiders.