Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib was granted a personal day away from the team on Wednesday as he copes with the revelation of homophobic language used by former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden in email correspondence.
Nassib revealed in June that he is gay, becoming the only openly gay player currently in the NFL.
Gruden used homophobic language in emails to former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen that led to his decision to resign from the Raiders earlier this week. Gruden directed a homophobic slur at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and directed more homophobic language toward the St. Louis Rams drafting Michael Sam in 2014.
Nassib’s decision to come out publicly was met with wide support from his teammates. In that wake of Gruden’s departure, tight end Darren Waller said he completely supported Nassib taking the time away.
“I support that (the absence) 100 percent,” Waller said Wednesday, via TheAthletic.com. “He’s pretty much a lone wolf when it comes to that. Nobody should be able to tell him how to feel. Nobody should be able to tell him how to grieve. He deserves to take time for himself because that’s a lot to process.
“Somebody that you’ve been invested in, battled with and you come out and there’s a quote that says something like what was said, I can’t imagine what he must be feeling and I respect him wanting to take his space and be able to come back clear-headed.”
General Manager Mike Mayock expressed similar support for Nassib’s request.
“He requested a personal day today,” Mayock said of Nassib. “He just said he’s got a lot to process, there’s a lot that’s been going on the last few days, and of course we support that request.”
The Raiders have a lot to process this week as Rich Bisaccia takes over as interim head coach and Greg Olson begins to call plays on offense. Nassib may have a bit more to process and is taking the time to do so with the support of those around him.