Now that Carl Nassib is gay, can he belt Patrick Mahomes to the ground?
LOS ANGELES, June 21, 2021 — The National Football League reached a historical-cultural milestone. Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib announced to the world that he is gay. He is the first active player to come out as openly gay. While many people will focus on his Pride Month announcement, leatherheads have one burning question.
Now that Nassib is gay, can he belt Patrick Mahomes to the ground when it matters or not?
This is not a gay or straight thing. It’s an AFC West thing.
The Chiefs have the best player in the league. The Raiders have had a terrible defense the last few years. The Raiders went toe to toe with the defending champion Chiefs last year. The Raiders beat the Chiefs in Kansas City and had the lead with two minutes to go at home in Las Vegas. Then Mahomes did what he does, and the Raiders’ defense melted down as they do. That is unacceptable.
Those wanting to spend days, weeks, months, and years obsessing about Nassib’e sexuality are missing the entire point of the gay rights movement. The goal is not for gay people to be celebrated or condemned. It is for their lifestyle to be considered boring. (Recognizing the internal threat facing Gays and Lesbians during Pride Month)
While Nassib’s announcement is significant since he is the very first, many Americans are already prepared to shrug. Football fans in particular are less interested in gay vs. straight than they are in winning and losing.
A few years ago, Michael Sam came out as having two first names and no last name.
That was less important than whether he could belt Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick to the ground. Sadly, he turned out to be another very good college player unable to succeed at the professional level.
Shortly after that, actress Ellen Page came out as Canadian. She was also not very good at football and is not on any NFL team. She did change her name to Elliot, who is also not very good at football. While Elliot is not on any NFL roster, he does have acting talent and has succeeded in the Hollywood arena.
Whether one is a devout Christian like Tim Tebow, Miss Alabama’s romantic partner A.J. McCarron, or Carl Nassib, the football field is the ultimate meritocracy.
Robert Saleh is the first Muslim to ever become an NFL head coach.
He is the rookie head coach of the New York Jets, who have failed with coaches of every other major Western religion. Catholic Lou Holtz, Christian Adam Gase, and Jewish Rich Kotite all had success with other teams but failed with the Jets.
Yet when asked about life as a Muslim coach, Saleh replied “I’m more concerned with third down and seven.”
Football is about football is about football.
Nassib is not a gay football player. He is a football player who happens to be gay. The best way to honor Nassib is not to hate or love him based on his announcement. It is to see him as a football player.
He is a Raider, and the late Al Davis frequently said “Once a Raider, Always a Raider.” Once the 2021 NFL season starts, the colors of the rainbow are less important than the only two colors that the Raider Nation cares about, silver and black.
Nassib is a member of the silver and black. His job is to make Mahomes black and blue. If Nassib does that, he will be a Raider Nation hero for the ages.
Mr. Nassib, you just told the world you were gay. Now go belt Mahomes. To again quote Mr. Davis, “The quarterback must go down, and he must go down hard.”
Go hit Mahomes. Then hit him again. Knock him on his hide. Then do it again.
Just win, baby.