Meet the 16 out gay and bi players in NFL history – Outsports

    The NFL has played for over 100 years and there have been 16 gay or bisexual players who have come out publicly.

    carl nassib is the no. 16 and the first to come out as gay while on an active roster. After being released by the Raiders after the 2021 season, Nassib signed on August 1. on January 15, 2022, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team he played for in 2018 and 2019.

    Reading: Gay football players in nfl

    Having just 16 players out of the thousands who have been on the preseason, practice squad, or nfl regular season rosters (23,000 and counting in a 2014 survey) is hardly an issue and shows the stigma that still surrounds people who play soccer. Over the years, Outsports has met a few other players who are gay but have never come out, even when they’ve retired. Dave Kopay was the first player to leave, in 1975, three years after retiring after a nine-year career.

    “Some of us paved the way and that makes me incredibly happy,” Kopay said of Nassib’s regular season play.

    despite their small number, these 16 are trailblazers and have inspired many lgbtq people in sports and all walks of life, for which they deserve applause.

    here is the list of nfl football players that have come out:

    Denver Post Archives

    Dave Kopay, shown in 1977, played for nine seasons in the NFL.
    Denver Post via Getty Images

    Played in a regular season game

    dave kopay (1964-72): running back for the 49ers, lions, redskins, saints and packers.

    jerry smith (1965-77): tight end for the redskins. The NFL Network produced a documentary about Smith being gay.

    ray mcdonald (1967-68): runner

    See also: College football rankings: ESPN updates Top 25 for Week 1 – College Football HQ

    roy simmons (1979-83): offensive lineman with the giants and redskins.

    jeff rohrer (1982-89): linebacker for the dallas cowboys.

    esera tuaolo (1991-99: defensive tackle with the packers, vikings, jaguars, falcons and panthers.

    kwame harris (2003-08): offensive lineman for the 49ers and raiders.

    ryan o’callaghan (2006-11): offensive lineman with the patriots and chiefs.

    ryan russell (2015-17, spent 2018 in bills camp): defensive lineman with the buccaneers and cowboys. identifies as bisexual.

    carl nassib (2016-present): defensive lineman with the browns, buccaneers and raiders.

    attended training camp

    wade davis (2000-03): wide receiver with the titans, seahawks and redskins.

    dorien bryant (2008): wide receiver with the steelers.

    See also: Bo Pelini – Head Football Coach – Football Coaches – Youngstown State University

    martin jenkins (1977): defensive back with the seahawks.

    brad thorson (2011): offensive lineman with the cardinals.

    michael sam (2014): defensive end with the rams. also on the cowboy practice squad.

    Colton Underwood (2014-20): The tight end had preseason or practice stints with the Chargers, Eagles and Raiders.

    2020 update

    In October, former Seattle Seahawks defensive back Martin Jenkins was nominated to the California Supreme Court. Jenkins is gay and this was the first time he discussed his sexual orientation at length.

    update 2021

    in april, colton underwood publicly came out. The “Bachelor” star said he has been struggling with his sexuality all his life.

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

    2022 update

    in august, carl nassib signed with the tampa bay buccaneers.

    (This story was first published in 2019 and is updated as new players appear. Last updated on August 15, 2022, to reflect Carl Nassib’s signing with Tampa Bay.)

    See also: Fantasy Football waiver wire Week 2: Best pickups at each position

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