For the defensive end of the NFL, the quarterback is the enemy, or at least the target of being fired. Even in practice against his own teammates, this sentiment is correct. But the Las Vegas Raiders Carl Nassib knew that at least one quarterback was firmly on his side on and off the field.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr told Michael Smith and Michael Holly in Brothers From Another podcast that although he was surprised when Carl Nassib came out, he was also the first to reach out and let him know that he was supporting him.
“At first, I was shocked because I didn’t know,” Carr told Smith and Holley on Brothers From Another. “There was no — he never talked about it to any one of the teammates.”
Although he was surprised at first, Carr revealed that he quickly contacted Nassib to let him know that he was fully supported.
“And I called him,” Carr continued. “He was working out, so I texted him. And he sent a text right back. And he said, ‘Derek, you have no idea how much it meant to me for you to reach out.’ He said, ‘I was hoping that you would reach out.'”
Carl Nassib announced on Instagram last month that he is gay. He then donated US$100,00 to the Trevor Project, a group that supports LGBTQ+ in fighting their sexual identities and considering suicide. His donation was quickly matched by the NFL.
The starting quarterback and de facto team leader said he made it clear to Nassib that he will lead by example and set an example for his teammates.
“I said, ‘Man, bro, I want you to know this,'” Carr explained. “I told Carl this, and I’ll share it. I said, ‘Bro, if no one else has your back and no one else will talk to you, I will.'”
Carr joined many active players with Julian Edelman, Malcolm Jenkins, Saquon Barley and others to show their support for Nassib. So far, some former gay players have refused to solve this problem, but want Nassib to tell his story in the way he sees fit. Carr responded to this sentiment, but also wanted to show that he was an ally of his teammate.
“I’ll let his words be his words,” Carr said of Nassib’s coming out. “But to me I wanted him to know.”
The Raiders have always been known for being a strong team in their legendary existence, which reflects the attitude of their capricious and rebellious former owner Al Davis. His “win, baby” football style has won three Super Bowl titles in five appearances. As long as they are ready to win on the field, he doesn’t care what his players do off the field. His team was very tenacious in the match against their opponents and won at all costs. As far as Carr is concerned, this attitude still exists today, when it comes to his teammates on the other side of the line.
“Like, that’s our brother, bro,” said Carr. “We’re trying to win a Super Bowl. We’re trying to help him be the best version of himself.”
Carr’s comments about becoming an ally of Nassib echoed his statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal shortly after Nassib came out last month, where he once again offered his new out teammate love and unwavering support.
“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.”