“It was good to not should lie”

Carl Nassib, the defensive end of the Las Vegas Raiders who came out gay in late June and was the first active NFL player in history, said he has been welcomed and supported at training camp since his announcement.

“It was great,” said Nassib on Friday in his first press conference since coming out. “I knew it was going to be good. I had no stress about it, absolutely no worries. We have a great locker room, great team-mates. I got nothing but love and support. It was incredible. Football players are treated badly. But we are humble, hardworking and accepting people. That was a great example of that. “

Nassib, who made the announcement on an Instagram video, is competing for snaps in the Raiders defensive line, which added some parts in the off-season, including the defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.

Nassib said he is now in much better mental shape after coming out publicly, but said the first few days of training at the start of training camp were challenging.

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“In the first few days when I was out and was the only out player, my body felt like jelly. I was very worried. But now I wanted to get that over with,” Nassib said of the press conference. “I wanted to go on and I just wanted to have a lot of clarity. I feel better today. I feel better than yesterday and the day before yesterday. So I’m looking forward to the future.”

Nassib said very few of his friends in the league knew he was gay, but he said he reached out to the Raiders’ coaches before making the announcement public.

“I was definitely surprised by the great response,” said Nassib. “It was amazing. I thought nobody would care. It felt good to have all the support. I was glad that I could do my part to give my community visibility and representation.”

Nassib, 28, is entering his sixth season in the NFL after serving with the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played 14 games with the Raiders last year, starting five, collecting 28 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks and one interception.

“It was definitely stressful growing up and standing in the closet and doing all of that,” said Nassib. “It was a great burden off my shoulders. I’d been traveling with family and friends for years, so it was good not to have to lie when I come to work every day. It was good. “

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