NFL has reiterated their unequivocal support for the LGBTQ+ community in a powerful new video.
Posted to the NFL’s official Twitter account, the organisation hails football as ‘gay, lesbian, beautiful, queer, life, exciting, transgender, heart, power, tough, bisexual, strong, freedom, accepting, for everyone and American’ before proudly declaring their support for The Trevor Project.
The LGBTQ+ charity is the leading national organisation providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ+ people.
The clip also shares the following statistic: “LGBTQ+ youth with one accepting adult have 40% lower risk of attempting suicide.” In their caption, NFL wrote: “If you love this game, you are welcome here. Football is for all. Football is for everyone. The NFL stands by the LGBTQ+ community today and every day.”
According to OutSports, the video – called Football Is For Everyone – is a response to the recent coming out of Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib. It also aims to “redefine” the sport to be inclusive of queer fans, coaches and players.
“I am proud of the clear message this spot sends to the NFL’s LGBTQ+ fans: This game is unquestionably for you,” NFL diversity director Sam Rapoport told Outsports. “I will be playing its first line over and over in my head all season.”
NFL chief marketing officer Tom Ellis added: “This spot is about celebrating Pride, and the importance of inclusion. It’s imperative that we use our voice and leverage the NFL platform to drive positive change, which includes supporting what our players care about and what they stand for.”
Last week, Nassib made history as the first active NFL player to come out as gay. In an Instagram video, the star told his fans: “I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest.
“I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for. I’m a pretty private person so I hope that you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important.”
The 28-year-old, who made the statement ahead of the 2021 NFL season (which starts 9 September), continued to say that he hopes videos such as his will not be “necessary” one day, “but until then I’m gonna do my best to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate.”
If you love this game, you are welcome here. Football is for all. Football is for everyone.
The NFL stands by the LGBTQ+ community today and every day.
— NFL (@NFL) June 28, 2021
Nassib also donated $100,000 to The Trevor Project.
“They’re an incredible organization, they’re the number one suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ+ youth in America,” said Nassib. “They’re truly doing incredible things. I’m very excited to be a part of it and help in any way that I can and I’m really pumped to see what the future holds.”
Nassib said he feels “blessed” and “thankful” for all of the support, and while he hasn’t immersed himself in LGBTQ+ culture and history, he is “eager to learn and to help continue the fight for equality and acceptance”.
“Lastly, I hope everyone can understand that I am just one person,” he continued. “I am a lanky walk-on who is living his dream. I only have a small window to achieve greatness in my sport and I owe it to my team, coaches and Raider fans to be completely locked in and at my best for the upcoming season.
“I’m a private person, so I’d ask the media to give me space as I navigate this exciting time in my life. Please do not take it personally if I decline an interview or am unable to answer your questions. Thank you everyone for your support. Happy Pride Month and Go Raiders.”
You can watch his coming out video here or below.
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