Carl Nassib’s jersey was not exactly at the top of the NFL’s best sellers.
And then the Las Vegas Raiders’ veteran defensive lineman announced he was gay.
ESPN reported the record sales came from Monday and Tuesday numbers at the Fanatics website, which runs the official e-commerce sites of pro sports including the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball.
Nassib came out publicly via Instagram on Monday.
“What’s up, people? I’m at my house in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in a video message.
“I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest.
“I really have the best life. I’ve got the best family, friends, and job a guy could ask for. I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important.”
Nassib also announced that he is donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention service.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell supported Nassib.
“The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today. Representation matters,” Goodell said Monday in a statement. “We share his hope that someday soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community.”
Michael Sam was the first openly gay player to be drafted (2014) by the NFL, but he never played a regular-season game.
Nassib also put out a written statement thanking his coaches and fellow players, “I would not have been able to do this without them.”