Carl Nassib is a defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders. He's also a gay dude. You didn't know he was a gay dude until yesterday, when he posted this video, letting you know "hey, btw, I'm a gay dude":
Bonus points for Carl's bro style here: "just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I'm gay, I've been meaning to do this for a while now".
The reaction from the media and corporate American has been to declare Nassib a hero and, in this rare occasion, I would tend to agree with them. Nassib is the first "active" player to come out as gay in the middle of his career. This isn't quite Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier during Jim Crow level of heroism, but Nassib is the first and it's a move that deserves some level of "hey, man, good for you."
The more interesting reaction isn't the one we're seeing from the Cathedral, we know of the Cathedral is going to react - with overwhelming approval and hyperbole, to the point of patronization:
No, in my opinion, the more interesting reaction is the one coming from people like you.
The reason why people are treating Nassib as a hero is the implicit notion that Nassib might be shunned by a society of wrong-think mouth breathers for coming out as a gay dude. In reality, the vast majority of Americans reacted to Nassib's news with a muted shrug.
This is not to say that Nassib won't face some unwarranted harassment from players in the league or from some fans, but based on my own observations, most of the reaction to this announcement from people that are not members of the Cathedral was positive and/or dispassionate.
Yes, despite what many would have you believe, it's simply no longer a huge deal when a gay dude announces that he's gay, especially when that gay dude that has a very low public profile and isn't known for presenting as a straight male for several decades.
If Tom Brady, the greatest football player of all-time, revered cocksman and father of three, announced he was gay, THAT might register as a shock to many.
But for Carl Nassib, a guy you almost certainly didn't know of until yesterday? The most common response seems to be "cool dude, whatever makes you happy." It's tantamount to an announcement that the girl who cuts your hair is a lesbian, "Oh neat, I'm happy for you. Now can you make sure you get my sideburns even this time?"
That Nassib's announcement was, essentially, a small story, is indicative that American society has less interest in who a person chooses to have sex with. And that, in and of itself, is an achievement worth celebrating.
UPDATE: It turns out that Carl Nassib is (allegedly) a registered Republican. This information becoming public knowledge is going to present Nassib with more harassment than coming out as gay ever could. Why? Because in 2021, being outed as a Republican is 1000 times worse than being outed as gay.
Here are some examples:
Seriously, coming out as gay - something that is typically celebrated universally by the media -might end up being a net-negative for Nassib. If not for Nassib's announcement, nobody would've ever been interested enough to investigate his background and the world would've never known that he *gasp* might have voted for Donald Trump.
Thank about that.
Happy Tuesday and God Bless America.