After Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib disclosed his sexual orientation last month, various voices from the organization were heard. One player who spoke through text message to reporters was Derek Carr.
On Wednesday, Carr verbalized his views regarding his teammate’s decision to let the world know who he is.
“Everyone was like bugging me about sending out a tweet,” Carr told Michael Holley and Michael Smith of Brother from Another. “And I was like, ‘This isn’t something to tweet.’ I called the guy personally. He’s my teammate, he’s my brother. At first, I was shocked because he didn’t know. There was no — he never talked about it to any one of the teammates. His moment was when he grabbed his phone and did it that way. And I called him. He was working out, so I texted him. And he sent a text right back. And he said, ‘Derek, you have no idea how much it meant to me for you to reach out.’ He said, ‘I was hoping that you would reach out.’ I’ll let his words be his words, but to me I wanted him to know.
“Like, everyone knows I’m a faithful man. I believe a certain way. That doesn’t change the fact that I love this man. That doesn’t change the fact that I’m [not] gonna treat this guy different. There’s people that think different things about everything. That doesn’t mean I get to treat you different than I treat somebody else. Like, because in this country, we’ve seen that if you don’t agree, you must hate each other. And I said, ‘Man, bro, I want you to know this.’ I told Carl this, and I’ll share it. I said, ‘Bro, if no one else has your back and no one else will talk to you, I will.’ I said, ‘I love you, Bro. And I’m here for you.’ And he’s like, ‘Thank you, dude.’ And we had a great conversation. So, like, if he comes in the locker room and someone doesn’t agree with him, I was like, ‘That’s OK, as long as you love him. Like, don’t treat him different.’ Like, that’s our brother, bro. We’re trying to win a Super Bowl. We’re trying to help him be the best version of himself. . . .,
“The thing that’s crazy is because he came out and said something and then that’s how he chooses to live. If you came out and said something about the way you choose to live, someone may not like that, too. He just decided to tell you what’s up, you know? And the thing in a locker is, we don’t care, bro. We’re here to put our arms around everybody. At least the good teams, at least the teams that care about each other. And we’re here to put our arms around each other and help each other be the best versions of themselves. And so when he comes in our locker room, will there be a couple guys? I don’t know. I can’t speak for everybody. But I can speak for the majority of the guys that have been around that we’re gonna wrap around him and say, ‘Bro, give great effort. We’re still gonna demand the excellence in football. Like, how you choose to live your life is how you choose to live your life.”
Most would say that there’s no “choose” involved with any of this, other than Nassib’s choice to share who he is with the world. Nassib is who he is. Others are who they are. Most would say it’s not a topic for disagreement on which teammates refrain from being disagreeable but unconditional acceptance, without possible faith-based private judgments or the sense that the best version of someone’s self has a ceiling.