Out NFL Player Carl Nassib Takes Day Off after Team Coach's Homophobic Emails

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday October 14, 2021

Out Raiders player Carl Nassib took a personal day after team coach Jon Gruden's resignation following the discovery of Gruden's offensive emails, TMZ reported.

TMZ detailed that the team's general manager, "Mike Mayock, just told reporters Nassib requested the 'personal day' following the departure of Gruden," and quoted Mayock as explaining, "He just said he's got a lot to process."

"And, of course, we support that request," Mayock went on to say.

Gruden's resignation followed "revelations that the coach used racist, homophobic and misogynistic language in emails during an approximately seven-year span before his return to coaching in 2018," The Washington Post detailed.

"Mayock, in the first extensive public comments by a team executive since Gruden's resignation Monday night, said that he, owner Mark Davis and interim coach Rich Bisaccia addressed Raiders players at a team meeting Wednesday."

Mayock told the press that the team's management had "reached out to a bunch of players, Black and White. Everybody's got emotions and feelings." Added Mayock: "We've spent a pretty good amount of time trying to help these guys and talk with these guys, not talk at them but with them," the Post reported.

The Associated Press reported earlier this week that Gruden announced his resignation on Oct. 12, after the emails surfaced.

"I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction," Gruden said. "Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I'm sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone."

The New York Times covered the story of the emails, in which Gruden reportedly "casually used misogynistic and homophobic language to disparage people."

"He denounced the emergence of women as referees, the drafting of a gay player and the tolerance of players protesting during the playing of the national anthem," the Times reported.

Raiders team member Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out as gay in an Instagram post last June. Following his emergence from the closet, Nassib said that he'd received nothing but "love and support" from the team.

"It's been a great weight off my shoulders. I've been out to my family and friends for years at this point, so it's been good to not have to lie when I come in to work every day and, yeah, it's been good," Nassib told the AP in August.

On Sept. 13, in the first regular season game to include an out gay NFL player, Nassib helped lead the Raiders to victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Meanwhile, fans had proven their love for the out athlete by sending sales of his jersey through the roof.

Months after coming out, Nassib revealed in an interview that he had had qualms about publicly revealing his sexuality, fearing it might hurt his career and wanting to "make sure that, like, the guys I went to work with every single day were good dudes — were, you know, accepting dudes."

In that same interview Nassib revealed that he has a boyfriend, prompting internet sleuths to theorize that the man in question is Eric Gudzinas, who had posted an image of himself together with Nassib on Instagram.

The Las Vegas Raiders will play their first game under interim head coach Rich Bisaccia this Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.