Carl Nassib will come to be the an initial to ever before play a down as openly gay, but the remainder are tho trailblazers.

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Carl Nassib of the ras Vegas Raiders. Photograph by Ethan Miller/Getty pictures

The NFL has played for much more than 100 years and there have actually been 16 happy or bi football player to come the end publicly.

As the 2021 NFL season kicks off, Carl Nassib the the las Vegas Raiders is No. 16 and also the an initial one to come out together gay while on an active roster.

To only have actually 16 the end players amongst the thousands who have actually been top top preseason, practice squad or regular season NFL rosters (23,000 and counting in a survey done in 2014) is proper a blip and also shows the stigma the still surrounds human being who beat football. End the years, has known the a few other football player who space gay however have never come out, also when retired. Dave Kopay to be the first player to come out, in 1975, three years ~ retiring after a nine-year career.

“There’s a couple of of united state that paved the way and it makes me extremely happy,” Kopay said about Nassib play in the constant season.

Despite their little numbers, these 16 space trailblazers and also have inspired many LGBTQ human being in sports and also every go of life, therefore they are to be applauded.

Here is the list of football players in the NFL who have actually come out:

Dave Kopay, displayed in 1977, played because that nine seasons in the NFL. Denver post via Getty images

Played in a continuous season game

Dave Kopay (1964-72): Running back with the 49ers, Lions, Redskins, Saints, and Packers.

Jerry smith (1965-77): Tight finish with the Redskins. The NFL Network produced a documentary on Smith being gay.

Ray McDonald (1967-68): running back

Roy Simmons (1979-83): attack lineman through the Giants and Redskins.

Jeff Rohrer (1982-89): Linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys.

Esera Tuaolo (1991-99: defensive tackle v the Packers, Vikings, Jaguars, Falcons and Panthers.

Kwame Harris (2003-08): attack lineman v the 49ers and also Raiders.

Ryan O’Callaghan (2006-11): attack lineman with the Patriots and also Chiefs.

Ryan Russell (2015-17, spent 2018 in receipt camp): defensive lineman through the Buccaneers and also Cowboys. Identifies together bisexual.

Carl Nassib (2016-present): defensive lineman through the Browns, Buccaneers and also Raiders.

Attended maintain camp

Wade Davis (2000-03): large receiver with the Titans, Seahawks and Redskins.

Dorien Bryant (2008): broad receiver v the Steelers.

Martin Jenkins (1977): Defensive ago with the Seahawks.

Brad Thorson (2011): offensive lineman with the Cardinals.

Michael Sam (2014): defensive end with the Rams. Also on the Cowboys practice squad.

Colton Underwood (2014-20): Tight finish had preseason or practice squad stints v the Chargers, Eagles and Raiders.

2020 update

In October, young name Jenkins, a previous defensive back for the Seattle Seahawks, to be nominated come the California can be fried Court. Jenkins is gay and this was the the very first time the widely disputed his sex-related orientation.

2021 update

In April, Colton Underwood came out publicly. The star that “The Bachelor” stated he has actually been struggling through his sexuality his entirety life.

In June, Carl Nassib of the Raiders came out as gay.

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(This story very first ran in 2019 and also is to update when new players come out).

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Carl Nassib the the Raiders is the NFL’s an initial active happy player

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