Carl Nassib Retires from NFL After 7 Years

Reflecting on the field, Nassib reveals deeper league insights.

by Nouman Rasool
Carl Nassib Retires from NFL After 7 Years
© Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - Iconic for being the NFL’s first openly gay active player in its 103-year history, Carl Nassib is hanging up his cleats after an impactful seven-year career. The decision, Nassib admits to PEOPLE, wasn't a simple one, especially with a resume that boasts of leadership roles, including a stint as captain of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The candid 30-year-old remarked, "I’ve worn the football helmet since I was eight, embracing every tackle and cheer. But it's time for a fresh chapter." Last season saw Nassib delving deep into "Rayze," his brainchild mobile application designed to bridge donors with non-profit organizations.

Those late nights at the Buccaneers facility ignited a realization: his purpose now lay beyond the touchdown lines. "It's my destiny,” asserts Nassib, explaining his commitment to Rayze. “The passion to make a change drives me." After a brave revelation in 2021, Nassib will maintain ties with the NFL, focusing on themes of "diversity, equity, and inclusion." His unique perspective as an openly gay player gifts him insights which he believes will foster mutual growth.

While the exact role remains under wraps, Nassib lauds the NFL’s unwavering support, emphasizing its essence in his journey.

Nassib's NFL Mindset

Reminiscing his game days, Nassib stated, "The NFL isn't just about athleticism.

It's a mindset. The humility, hunger, and camaraderie—there's nothing quite like it." But, as CEO of Rayze, Nassib aims to infuse the company’s ethos with the same energy and dedication that he brought to the football field.

The platform's growth trajectory has been exceptional. A new collaboration with Volunteer Match promises over 80,000 volunteering opportunities by year's end. Beyond professional endeavors, Nassib's heart lies in championing financial literacy, particularly for athletes.

His dedication has been evident; when he came out, his generous donation to the Trevor Project, a beacon for young LGBTQ+ individuals, was matched by the NFL. Kevin Wong of the Trevor Project praises Nassib, heralding him as a role model whose influence transcends just the football community.

Drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2016, Nassib's college days at Penn State saw him dominate the charts with unmatched sack and fumble records. But as the autumn leaves fall this year, Nassib's joy is simple: "After a decade-long hiatus, this Thanksgiving, I'll finally be home."