Carl Nassib made history and made a statement on Monday Night Football, as the openly gay player forced the game-winning fumble as the Las Vegas Raiders beat the Baltimore Ravens in overtime, 33-27.
It looked like the Raiders were going to blow the game in overtime. They had first and goal from the 1-yard line that ended up resulting in an interception. The Ravens had the ball and faced a 3rd and 7 at their own 33 when Nassib knocked the ball out of the hands of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, and Raider Darius Philon picked up the ball.
When the Raiders threw the ball on second down, Zay Jones was wide open for the game-winning touchdown.
“A lot of firsts today,” Nassib said after the game, according to Cassie Soto. “I was really taking it in as much as I could... I’ve played in a lot of games... and I won’t forget this one.”
For years people have pushed the idea that out gay athletes will be a distraction for their team and somehow undermine their team’s ability to win.
Nassib has completely turned that upside down not just with his presence in the game, but that incredible game-winning forced fumble.
The game’s final minutes I’m sure left many LGBTQ fans screaming, then in tears. All of those years being told we don’t belong, that people like Nassib can’t exist, for the moment feel like they’ve been undone by a strip-sack and a touchdown.
For this game to end this way with that player making that play... Hollywood writers everywhere are jealous.
People in the LGBTQ community, and even a lot of people outside of it, will be talking about this one for years.