Carl Nassib of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers poses for a portrai on October 18, 2022 in Tampa, Florida Source: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Carl Nassib, First Out Active NFL Football Player, Announces Retirement

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

Carl Nassib, who became the first active NFL football player to come out when he announced he was gay in an Instagram post two years ago, said he is retiring from the sport at age 30, according to

As he did in 2021 when he came out, Nassib shared the news in an Instagram post.

Calling it a "bittersweet moment," Nassib posted his decision to step back from the sport "after seven seasons and just over 100 NFL games" in order "to focus on my company Rayze," which, according to Boardroom, helps "participating non-profits and volunteers connect by displaying them all on detailed, geolocated maps and by putting local events together across the US within a social media-style platform."

"It really feels like just yesterday starting out as a walk-on at Penn State," the pass rusher went on to say. "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 described the thrill the all-American sport held for him. "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."

Nassib's coming out was delivered in a video on Instagram, with the 6'7" player delivering the news in an almost offhanded manner.

Though he was breaking new ground in the sports world, Nassib was met with support by fans and colleagues.

Since coming out, Nassib has found love with fellow athlete SΓΈren Dahl, an Olympic swimmer. Nassib posted a happy birthday message to Dahl last month to declare him "the best boyfriend I could dream of," adding the sweet message "Jeg elsker dig sΓ₯ meget" (Danish for "I love you very much").

Appreciative fans responding to news of his retirement let Nassib know that they love him, too.

"You broke down barriers and inspired millions," one comment left on Nassib's Instagram message said. "Thank you and enjoy the next stage! πŸ™Œ"

"Congrats and Good Luck!" another fan posted. "You've made a bigger difference than you'll ever know. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘"

Another wrote: "Congratulations Carl!!! Thank you for being a blessing to so many!!! We are rooting for you and praying for you. God bless β€οΈπŸ™"

Other comments and well wishes in a similar vein poured in:

"Thank you for being your authentic self. You have saved lives. Our community is lucky to have you and can't wait to see what the future brings for you!"

"Thanks for literally changing the world around you. You've given hope to so many kids who want to achieve what you've achieved."

"Congrats on a great career. Your impact on and off the field has been tremendous. Chapter 2 is going to be just as Awesometacular. Looking forward to Rayze taking off! πŸ’ͺ🏼"

"Good luck bro thankyou for all the hard work for the LGBTQIA+!!!! πŸ™πŸ’ͺ"

Here's wishing all the best to Carl Nassib!

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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