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Carl Nassib made history when he came out in June 2021, becoming the first active NFL player to do so. Now he’s moving on to his next chapter. This morning, Nassib shared the news that he is retiring from football.
At the time he came out, Nassib was playing for the Las Vegas Raiders, and he has since gone on to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Earlier this year, his one-year contract with the team expired and there has been no news as to what he would be doing next. Now we know.
Nassib took to Instagram to explain his decision to leave the sport in a series of notes. “This is a bittersweet moment for me but after seven seasons and just over 100 NFL games I am officially retiring from football to concentrate on my company Rayze,” he began, referring to the app he’s developed that helps connect people to nonprofits so they can give back to causes close to their hearts.
“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,” he wrote.
“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,” continued Nassib.
He also expressed the deep gratitude he felt for the experience of playing football and the support he received from his loved ones. “Big moments like this are a time for gratitude. I want to thank God, my family, and my friends for always being there for me even when I didn’t realize it,” Nassib wrote. He also thanked this agent, Bruan Ayrault, who was the first person in the industry he came out to and whom “didn’t blink” at the news. “He encouraged and motivated me to follow through with my announcement and to make as big of an impact as I possibly could,” shared Nassib. He went on to thank coaches, teammates, and many more of the people who encouraged and supported him through both his career and his coming out.
Nassib closed with a motivational message and his excitement for the future. “To anyone who has a dream of being the best, never let anyone convince you it’s impossible. Be the best you can be in everything you do. Work hard, make smart decisions, and be kind to others,” wrote Nassib. “I am so excited for the next chapter of my life and to give Rayze everything that I have. I am also looking forward to working alongside the NFL on DEI and exciting philanthropic efforts in the future. Wish me luck!”