Carl Nassib of the Las Vegas Raiders relished a “special night” Monday as he became the first out homosexual NFL player to appear in a regular-season game.
Nassib had a key strip sack on Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in overtime in the Raiders’ exciting 33-27 triumph against the Ravens, which was the first game with spectators at Allegiant Stadium.
Wide receiver Zay Jones caught Derek Carr’s 31-yard throw to set up the game-winning score for the Raiders.
“It was very unique. I’m overjoyed that we won on the day, and that we were able to make a little piece of history, which was fantastic “According to Nassib, who spoke to media.
“Many people in the LGBTQ community came before me and helped me get to where I am now. That makes me really happy. I’m looking forward to getting to Pittsburgh next week and continuing this conversation.”
Nassib, who has played for three clubs in the NFL over the course of five years, became the first active player in the league’s history to come out as homosexual earlier this year.
In response to a question about his sack on Jackson, Nassib added: “Everything revolves around the ball. Getting turnovers is the difference between a strong defense and a bad defense… I was relieved to be able to get the ball out in such a crucial time.”
The Ravens took an early 14-0 lead in Monday Night Football’s season opener, only for the Raiders to fight their way back time and time again, tied the game three times in the fourth quarter.
Daniel Carlson tied the game at 27-27 with a career-long 55-yard field goal with seven seconds left in the fourth quarter.
In overtime, a Bryan Edwards grab and plunge over the goal line looked to secure the game for the Raiders. On the field, it was called a touchdown, prompting wild celebrations, but a replay revealed Wilson was down before the ball crossed the goal line.
Carr’s ball was deflected and intercepted in the endzone by Anthony Averett as the Raiders pushed for the victory.
The Ravens’ jubilation was short-lived, however, as Nassib sacked Jackson, causing a fumble that was recovered by Darius Philon before Carr connected with Jones for the game-winning score, much to the pleasure of the home crowd.
“We enjoyed the excitement, and it was simply fantastic that the supporters are back,” Nassib remarked of the atmosphere. This was my first encounter with Raiders supporters, who are without a doubt the greatest NFL fans I’ve ever seen.”