The NFL's first openly gay player to participate in a regular-season game was the edge rusher Carl Nassib, who announced his retirement on Wednesday.
In 2021, while playing for the Las Vegas Raiders, Nassib came out. He played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season.
Nassib announced his retirement from football on Instagram. "This is a bittersweet moment for me but after seven seasons and just over 100 NFL games I am officially retiring from football to focus on my company Rayze," he wrote. "It seems like yesterday when I first joined Penn State as a walk-on.
"I've gotten more from football than I ever could have anticipated. Knowing that I gave it my all, I can honestly put my helmet away for the last time. Football was always so much fun when I was a kid. I enjoyed seeking perfection. Every athlete has a brief window in which to pursue their goals, and I enjoyed that. If you do, it makes the experience much more thrilling. Even as a walk-on, playing in the NFL has always been a dream of mine, and I genuinely feel like the luckiest man alive right now.
Nassib, 30, was selected by the Browns in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent seven seasons with Cleveland, Las Vegas, and two stints in Tampa Bay, recording 25 1/2 sacks.