The only openly gay player in the National Football League, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib, asked for a personal day off after emails from his former coach, Jon Gruden, were published with emails denigrating homosexuals.
The Raiders granted the request; Raiders general manager Mike Mayock told reporters, “He just said he’s got a lot to process. There’s a lot that’s been going on the last few days. And, of course, we support that request.”
RAIDERS GM Mike Mayock: DL Carl Nassib, who is gay, requested a personal day. Said he has met with Nassib 3 times. Said Nassib is processing a lot of things and the team supports him. Mayock didn't mention ex-coach Gruden's homophobic emails, but that seemed to be behind this.
— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) October 13, 2021
“Nassib came out during Pride Month on June 21, announcing on Instagram that he planned on donating $10,000 The Trevor Project, which seeks to prevent suicides among LGBTQ youth,” the Daily Mail noted.
Gruden resigned Monday over emails he had written between 2011 and 2018 when he worked as an ESPN analyst. He issued a statement on Monday saying, “I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
Statement from former Raiders coach Jon Gruden: pic.twitter.com/RVyxgT09F4
— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) October 12, 2021
Raiders tight end Darren Waller supported Nassib taking the day off. “I support that 100 percent. He’s pretty much a lone wolf when it comes to that,” he stated, according to The Athletic. “Nobody should be able to tell him how to feel. Nobody should be able to tell him how to grieve. He deserves to take time for himself because that’s a lot to process. Somebody that you’ve been invested in, battled with and you come out and there’s a quote that says something like what was said, I can’t imagine what he must be feeling and I respect him wanting to take his space and be able to come back clear-headed.”
As The Daily Wire reported on Tuesday after emails from Gruden deemed as racist were revealed and Gruden had resigned:
… the NFL was reportedly reviewing additional emails sent by Gruden over the past decade, and a New York Times report said that the league found homophobic and misogynistic emails. … According to the report, Gruden called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a “fa****” and a “clueless anti football p****.” Goodell appears to be the subject of many emails, with Gruden using homophobic language when referring to the commissioner.
The emails were sent between 2011-2018 and included criticism of Goodell for his attempt to reduce concussions in the game of football, which Gruden reportedly felt was discouraging parents from allowing their children to play the game of football. According to the Times, Gruden also felt that Goodell and the NFL should not have pressured the Rams to draft “queers,” a reference to Michael Sam.
Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL, commented on Gruden’s emails, “It’s unfortunate, especially that the first active gay player who’s playing is on the same team.’’
The Sporting News noted:
Michael Sam was the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL. He was selected in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft and competed for a spot on the Rams’ 53-man roster. Ultimately though, he didn’t make the Rams’ team and never played during the regular season. He spent time on the Cowboys’ practice squad in 2014 and in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes in 2015. He retired from professional football midway through the 2015 CFL season and hasn’t played football since.