In the 24 hours after NFL defensive end, Carl Nassib became the first active player in league history to be openly gay, sales of Nassib’s No. 94 Las Vegas Raiders jersey exploded. The jersey is now reportedly the No. 1 seller on Fanatics, the NFL’s official e-commerce partner. As reported by ESPN, it is also the top mover on the Fanatics’ family of other online retailers, including NFLShop.com.
According to sports analyst Darren Rovell of The Action Network, Nassib’s Instagram follower count rocketed by 550% in the same timeframe. Per Rovell, Fanatics spokesperson Brandon Williams did not offer specific data on the sales of Nassib’s jersey. However, Williams did say that sales of Nassib’s No. 94 jersey outperformed the company’s second top-seller, which belongs to Chicago Bears rookie QB Justin Fields, over the last two days.
In Monday’s announcement, Nassib noted that he is a generally private individual; however, he further went on to say, “I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends, and job a guy could ask for.” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr echoed the sentiment, and he voiced his support of Nassib in return. “I have often said I love my teammates. I mean it,” Carr said. “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.”
Many sports notables, both past and present, as well as celebs beyond the sports world, have come out in praise of Nassib. Tennis legend Billie Jean King, Nassib’s college coach James Franklin, iconic multisport superstar Bo Jackson, and more have been open in their backing of the Raiders defensive end.
Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team in 2014, tweeted his own words of encouragement. “Carl Nassib thank you for owning your truth and especially your donation to the @TrevorProject,” he wrote. Sam was later cut by every team and exited pro football before ever having one official NFL snap in his career, for the sake of his mental health. “LBGTQ people are more likely to commit suicide than heterosexuals,” Sam continued. “I hope and pray people will take note to this. Thank you again Carl and look forward to seeing you play on the field.”
NFL Player Carl Nassib Comes Out As Gay
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Carl Nassib’s announcement on his IG page included this note which was particularly compelling, especially for those who may meet this news with “what’s the big deal/why does it matter?” pic.twitter.com/o1lQLoSqSa— Mike Golic Jr (@mikegolicjr) June 21, 2021
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Carl Nassib said he agonized about this moment for the last 15 years. He deserves all the love. Kindness today is important. Don’t let your negative tweets be the reason someone else decides not to live their truth. Let your positive ones be the reason they do.— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) June 21, 2021
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In 2013 I asked an NFL coordinator, on background, if he thought the league would ever accept an openly gay player. He said no, “because nobody wants to shower with a fa——.”— robertklemko (@RobertKlemko) June 21, 2021
Here’s to Carl Nassib’s courage, and that coach being out of a job. https://t.co/4KxbaM2nd0
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I hope the NFL is prepared to do right by Carl Nassib in ways they weren’t for everyone else. We’ll see.— Joel D. Anderson (@byjoelanderson) June 21, 2021
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My favorite part about the Carl Nassib news is that for me, he will forever be defined as the guy on Hard Knocks who gave his teammates financial literacy lessons before film session.— Pat Elliott (@Pat_Elliott_) June 21, 2021
Congrats to him, happy pride. pic.twitter.com/HapjoH691Y
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Really proud of Carl Nassib. 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.— Warren Moon (@WMoon1) June 22, 2021
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Good for you Carl Nassib!! Live your truth brother.— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) June 21, 2021
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It took me until I was in my late 60s to come out. Such is the power of the closet. And I know what it’s like to have the eyes of the world on you when you do finally speak your truth.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 22, 2021
Bravo, Carl Nassib. You have tackled a great deal today.
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#Raiders coach Jon Gruden, in response to DE Carl Nassib coming out as gay: “I learned a long time ago what makes a man different is what makes him great.”— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) June 21, 2021
Carl Nassib Now Has The NFL’s Number One Selling Jersey was originally published on cassiuslife.com