First Out NFL Player, Carl Nassib, Announces Retirement

He holds the distinction of being the first active NFL player to come out as gay and actually play in a game. Now, 30-year-old Carl Nassib has announced he is retiring from football. In his typical fashion, Nassib made the announcement with a post to Instagram.

“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,” the post read in part. “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.”

Nassib became the first NFL player to come out while playing in much the same manner, with a post to Instagram during Pride month in 2021. 

"What's up people," Nassib said in the Instagram video. "I'm at my house in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I'm gay. 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."

Nassib’s company, Rayze, is an app that links people to each other as well as to nonprofits close to them that match their volunteer interests. “If we’re hanging around on a Saturday afternoon and we’ve got time to kill, we can get on our phones and within 10 seconds, we can find something in our neighborhood to do to give back,” Nassib told the Associated Press last year.

“Growing up I loved how fun football was,” Nassib wrote in his retirement post. “I loved the pursuit of perfection. … 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.”