Carl Nasib, an openly gay active player in the NFL, asked the Raiders for a “personal day” in light of John Gruden’s homophobic email.
Being the first to do something holds its rightful place in history, but paving the way for marginalized identity has never been easier.
Fritz Pollard, the first black quarterback and first black coach in NFL history, endured racist mob chants while playing at the Browns in 1915.
When Sarah Thomas The news was met with celebration as well as sexist jokes, as the first woman in an NFL game sinned league history.
So when Carl Naseeb, the first active NFL player to come out as gay, learned that his coach had used homophobic language in a private email, he found himself in uncharted territory.
It’s no surprise that luck asked Raiders general manager Mike Mayock for a personal day, stating that he had “a lot to process” regarding John Gruden’s emails.
Carl Naseeb seeks personal day after John Gruden’s homophobic email is released
After Gruden’s racist comments about DeMorris Smith were exposed in an early Wall Street Journal article, new York Times Gruden unveils further insight into the email scam.
Here are some of the descriptions of homophobic slurs Gruden aimed at various NFL figures, over a decade, as reported:
In the email, Gruden called the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, a “f–t” and an “unknown anti-football p-y” and asked Goodell to draft on Jeff Fischer, then the Rams’ coach. Shouldn’t have put pressure. “Queer” a reference to Michael Sam, a gay player chosen by the team in 2014.
The Times report indicated that homophobic slurs were used frequently and casually in correspondence between Gruden and other high-ranking NFL figures.
When Naseeb came out as gay in June 2021, he was the first active NFL player to do so – many have come out as gay after retiring from the league. It was a milestone for LGBTQ+ athletes, who have long felt societal pressure to hide their identities.
Little did luck know that throughout this time, the head coach he played for used a homophobic slur that made it very difficult for athletes to come out.
While fellow Raiders like Derek Carr and Josh Jacobs have expressed sympathy for Gruden, his comments are a painful reminder of why gay NFL players struggle to publicly share their authentic selves.