Carl Nassib’s replica jersey becomes best seller on Fanatics website, Biden praises his ‘courage’


Demand for Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib’s replica jersey has soared in the days since he became the first active NFL player to come out as gay.

Fanatics, a sports apparel website and NFL partner, announced that Nassib’s No. 94 was its top-selling replica jersey across Monday and Tuesday in the hours after Nassib came out on Instagram. Specific sales figures were not revealed, but prices for Nassib replica jerseys range between around $120 and $370 on the Fanatics website. 

In addition to fan support, Nassib and transgender Japanese soccer player Kumi Yokoyama both got a shoutout from President Joe Biden on Tuesday.

Demand for Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib's replica jersey has soared in the days since he became the first active league player to come out as gay

Demand for Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib’s replica jersey has soared in the days since he became the first active league player to come out as gay

Fanatics, a sports apparel website and NFL partner, announced that Nassib's No. 94 was its top-selling replica jersey across Monday and Tuesday in the hours after Nassib came out on Instagram. Specific sales figures were not revealed, but prices for Nassib replica jerseys range between around $120 and $370 on the Fanatics website

Fanatics, a sports apparel website and NFL partner, announced that Nassib's No. 94 was its top-selling replica jersey across Monday and Tuesday in the hours after Nassib came out on Instagram. Specific sales figures were not revealed, but prices for Nassib replica jerseys range between around $120 and $370 on the Fanatics website

Fanatics, a sports apparel website and NFL partner, announced that Nassib’s No. 94 was its top-selling replica jersey across Monday and Tuesday in the hours after Nassib came out on Instagram. Specific sales figures were not revealed, but prices for Nassib replica jerseys range between around $120 and $370 on the Fanatics website

In addition to fan support, Nassib and transgender Japanese soccer player Kumi Yokoyama both got a shoutout from President Joe Biden on Tuesday

In addition to fan support, Nassib and transgender Japanese soccer player Kumi Yokoyama both got a shoutout from President Joe Biden on Tuesday

In addition to fan support, Nassib and transgender Japanese soccer player Kumi Yokoyama both got a shoutout from President Joe Biden on Tuesday

Japanese soccer player Kumi Yokoyama recently came out as transgender - a revelation praised in the US but an identity not legally recognized in Japan. Yokoyama plays for the NWSL's Washington Spirit

Japanese soccer player Kumi Yokoyama recently came out as transgender - a revelation praised in the US but an identity not legally recognized in Japan. Yokoyama plays for the NWSL's Washington Spirit

Japanese soccer player Kumi Yokoyama recently came out as transgender – a revelation praised in the US but an identity not legally recognized in Japan. Yokoyama plays for the NWSL’s Washington Spirit

‘To Carl Nassib and Kumi Yokoyama – two prominent, inspiring athletes who came out this week: I’m so proud of your courage,’ Biden tweeted. ‘Because of you, countless kids around the world are seeing themselves in a new light today.’

By coming out, Nassib was hoping to serve as a positive example for others who may be struggling to reveal their sexuality to others.

Describing himself as a ‘private person’ in his Instagram video, Nassib said one of his reasons for coming out publicly was because he thinks ‘representation and visibility are so important.’ He also donated $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a charity that focuses on preventing suicide among LGBTQ youth.

When the Brooklyn Nets signed free agent Jason Collins in 2014, making him the NBA's first openly gay player, the seven-foot center's No. 98 jersey instantly became the top seller on the league website and at the Fifth Avenue store in New York. Collins initially wore No. 46 with Brooklyn before switching to No. 98 — a nod to Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was beaten to death in Wyoming in 1998

When the Brooklyn Nets signed free agent Jason Collins in 2014, making him the NBA's first openly gay player, the seven-foot center's No. 98 jersey instantly became the top seller on the league website and at the Fifth Avenue store in New York. Collins initially wore No. 46 with Brooklyn before switching to No. 98 — a nod to Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was beaten to death in Wyoming in 1998

When the Brooklyn Nets signed free agent Jason Collins in 2014, making him the NBA’s first openly gay player, the seven-foot center’s No. 98 jersey instantly became the top seller on the league website and at the Fifth Avenue store in New York. Collins initially wore No. 46 with Brooklyn before switching to No. 98 — a nod to Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was beaten to death in Wyoming in 1998

‘I actually hope that one day videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary,’ he said in his video. ‘Until then, I am going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that is accepting and compassionate.’

It’s not a complete surprise that Nassib’s jersey became such a hot item.

When the Brooklyn Nets signed free agent Jason Collins in 2014, making him the NBA’s first openly gay player, the seven-foot center’s No. 98 jersey instantly became the top seller on the league website and Fifth Avenue store in New York. Collins initially wore No. 46 with Brooklyn before switching to No. 98 — a nod to Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was beaten to death in Wyoming in 1998.

Collins, who played 12 NBA seasons before coming out of the closet as a free agent in 2013, congratulated Nassib on Twitter following his announcement: ‘Very proud of Carl Nassib! Incredibly happy for him and can’t wait to watch him play this upcoming season!’

Nassib also got a call from teammate, quarterback Derek Carr.

‘I have often said I love my teammates. I mean it,’ Carr told reporters, as quoted by ESPN. ‘We always say we are a family in that Raider locker room, and we mean that too. I want to win a championship here with Carl and the rest of our teammates.’

Jason Collins played 12 NBA seasons before coming out as a free agent in 2013. Later he signed with the Brooklyn Nets, and in doing so, became the first openly gay player in US team sports

Jason Collins played 12 NBA seasons before coming out as a free agent in 2013. Later he signed with the Brooklyn Nets, and in doing so, became the first openly gay player in US team sports

Jason Collins played 12 NBA seasons before coming out as a free agent in 2013. Later he signed with the Brooklyn Nets, and in doing so, became the first openly gay player in US team sports 

Nassib is obviously not the NFL’s first gay player. Several have come out publicly since retiring and many more have remained closeted for fear of backlash.

For instance, former New York Giants and Washington Redskins linebacker Roy Simmons came out after leaving the NFL in 1983, telling the New York Times 20 years later that he waited to do so because he feared it would end his career. Simmons died in 2014 after being diagnosed with HIV in 1997.

 ‘The NFL has a reputation,’ Simmons said in 2003, ‘and it’s not even a verbal thing — it’s just known. You are gladiators; you are male; you kick butt.’

After his announcement, Nassib got a call from teammate, quarterback Derek Carr (pictured). 'I have often said I love my teammates. I mean it,' Carr told reporters, as quoted by ESPN. 'We always say we are a family in that Raider locker room, and we mean that too. I want to win a championship here with Carl and the rest of our teammates.' Both Carr and Nassib have brothers who once served as backups to retired Giants quarterback Eli Manning

After his announcement, Nassib got a call from teammate, quarterback Derek Carr (pictured). 'I have often said I love my teammates. I mean it,' Carr told reporters, as quoted by ESPN. 'We always say we are a family in that Raider locker room, and we mean that too. I want to win a championship here with Carl and the rest of our teammates.' Both Carr and Nassib have brothers who once served as backups to retired Giants quarterback Eli Manning

After his announcement, Nassib got a call from teammate, quarterback Derek Carr (pictured). ‘I have often said I love my teammates. I mean it,’ Carr told reporters, as quoted by ESPN. ‘We always say we are a family in that Raider locker room, and we mean that too. I want to win a championship here with Carl and the rest of our teammates.’ Both Carr and Nassib have brothers who once served as backups to retired Giants quarterback Eli Manning 

Butch Woolfolk, a teammate of Simmons’s in New York, said he played alongside other gay players with the Houston Oilers and Detroit Lions as well.

Warren Moon, the quarterback for those Oilers teams, appeared to confirm Woolfolk’s claim while commending Nassib for being the first active NFL player to come out of the closet.

‘Really proud of Carl Nassib,’ Moon tweeted. ‘The first active football player to ever do so. I played with several guys who never were comfortable enough to go public. They were great teammates, & obviously very talented.

‘As long as they helped us win and were great teammates- their sexual preference was never a issue,’ he continued in another tweet. ‘We live in a different time now where diversity is much more accepted. Cheers Carl, and I hope this lets other athletes know, its (sic) OK to say who you are.’

Nassib was thanked on Twitter by Michael Sam, a former Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year who came out before being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2014 but was cut before the season started. Not only did Sam appreciate Nassib’s honesty, but also his $100,000 donation to the Trevor Project, which is aimed at preventing suicides among LGBTQ youth.

‘Carl Nassib thank you for owning your truth and especially your donation to the @TrevorProject,’ Sam wrote. ‘LBGTQ people are more likely to commit suicide than heterosexuals. I hope and pray people will take note to this. Thank you again Carl and look forward to seeing you play on the field.’ 

Warren Moon, the former Oilers quarterback, said he played with several closeted teammates

Warren Moon, the former Oilers quarterback, said he played with several closeted teammates

Warren Moon, the former Oilers quarterback, said he played with several closeted teammates

JAPANESE SOCCER PLAYER AND NWSL STAR KUMI YOKOYAMA COMES OUT AS TRANSGENDER 

Japanese soccer player Kumi Yokoyama has come out as transgender – a revelation praised in the US but an identity not legally recognized in Japan.

The 27-year-old forward for the National Women’s Soccer League’s Washington Spirit said they felt more comfortable with their own gender identity while living in the US, where teammates and friends are more open to gender and sexual diversity.

‘I’m coming out now,’ Yokoyama said in a video talk on former teammate Yuki Nagasato’s YouTube channel. ‘In the future, I want to quit soccer and live as a man.’

Japanese soccer player Kumi Yokoyama has come out as transgender - a revelation praised in the US but an identity not legally recognized in Japan. The 27-year-old forward for the National Women's Soccer League's Washington Spirit said they felt more comfortable with their own gender identity while living in the US, where teammates and friends are more open to gender and sexual diversity

Japanese soccer player Kumi Yokoyama has come out as transgender - a revelation praised in the US but an identity not legally recognized in Japan. The 27-year-old forward for the National Women's Soccer League's Washington Spirit said they felt more comfortable with their own gender identity while living in the US, where teammates and friends are more open to gender and sexual diversity

Japanese soccer player Kumi Yokoyama has come out as transgender – a revelation praised in the US but an identity not legally recognized in Japan. The 27-year-old forward for the National Women’s Soccer League’s Washington Spirit said they felt more comfortable with their own gender identity while living in the US, where teammates and friends are more open to gender and sexual diversity

Yokoyama’s revelation was praised by President Joe Biden.

‘To Carl Nassib and Kumi Yokoyama – two prominent, inspiring athletes who came out this week: I’m so proud of your courage. Because of you, countless kids around the world are seeing themselves in a new light today,’ Biden tweeted. Nassib is the first active NFL player to come out as gay.

The Spirit also expressed the team’s support and pride in Yokoyama. ‘Thank you for showing the world it’s ok to embrace who you are!’ the team tweeted, adding that the player uses they/them pronouns.

Support and awareness of gender and sexual diversity has slowly grown in Japan, but LGBTQ people lack many legal protections and often suffer discrimination, causing many to hide their sexual identities. An equality law pushed by rights groups was scrapped recently due to opposition from the conservative ruling party.

Yokoyama thanked President Joe Biden on Twitter for praising her 'courage'

Yokoyama thanked President Joe Biden on Twitter for praising her 'courage'

Yokoyama thanked President Joe Biden on Twitter for praising her ‘courage’

Transgender people in Japan also must have their reproductive organs removed to have their gender recognized on official documents – a requirement that human rights and medical groups criticize as inhuman and unnecessary and say should end.

Yokoyama said they weren’t enthusiastic about coming out but it was a choice made while thinking about the future and that it would be harder to live closeted. ‘I would not have come out in Japan,’ they said.

They thanked their teammates, friends and girlfriend for their support and courage.

Yokoyama played for Japan at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France and moved from Japanese club AC Nagano Parceiro to the Washington Spirit.

Yokoyama said they felt a strong pressure to conform and remain closeted in Japan but hoped to live as a man after retiring as a professional soccer player and to help raise awareness for sexual minorities in Japan.

‘More people in Japan are becoming familiar with the word LGBTQ and it’s seen more (in the media), but I think awareness won’t grow unless people like myself come out and raise our voices,’ Yokoyama said.

The Associated Press 



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