Former Raider Carl Nassib, first openly gay player to play in NFL games, retires

Sep 6, 2023, 3:00 PM

Defensive end Carl Nassib #94 of the Las Vegas Raiders warms up before a game against the Denver Br...

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 26: Defensive end Carl Nassib #94 of the Las Vegas Raiders warms up before a game against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium on December 26, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 17-13. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Edge rusher Carl Nassib, the NFL’s first openly gay player to play in a regular-season game, announced his retirement on Wednesday.

Nassib came out in 2021 while with the Las Vegas Raiders. He spent last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“This is a bittersweet moment for me but after seven seasons and just over 100 NFL games I am officially retiring from football to focus on my company Rayze,” Nassib wrote on Instagram. “It really feels like just yesterday starting out as a walk-on at Penn State.

“Football has given me more than I ever could have imagined. I can truly hang up my helmet for the last time knowing I gave it everything I had. Growing up I loved how fun football was. I loved the pursuit of perfection. I loved the small window where every player has to chase their dreams. It makes it all the more exciting if you get there. It was always my dream to play in the NFL, even as a walk-on, and I really feel like the luckiest guy on the planet.”


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The 30-year-old Nassib, a third-round pick by the Browns in 2016, had 25 1/2 sacks in seven seasons with Cleveland, Las Vegas and two stints in Tampa Bay.

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