1. After Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib posted a video on Instagram announcing he is gay on Monday afternoon, I sent this tweet:
Naturally, I got a few responses from clueless people who didn’t understand why Nassib’s coming out as an active player was significant.
As I said, just tweeting to get likes and retweets isn’t exactly productive, but here, public support for Nassib from star players is important because a lack of support from peers is what could deter future athletes from coming out.
It’s great to see fans, media and former players heap praise on Nassib, but it’s Nassib’s teammates and peers who carry the most weight in making him feel comfortable and accepted.
When it comes to current stars in the NFL, there weren’t many who publicly supported Nassib on Monday.
I saw tweets from J.J. Watt and Saquon Barkley, but that was about it.
As Nassib pointed out in his Instagram post, this isn’t just about him being the first active and known gay player. For the “why is this a big deal?” dopes who are out there, just look at these two sentences from Nassib’s post:
“Young LGBTQ kids are over 5X more likely than their straight friends to commit suicide.”
“Studies have shown that all it takes is one accepting adult to decrease the risk of an LGTBQ kid attempting suicide by 40%.”
It would’ve been nice if more current players, especially big-name players, would’ve either acknowledged Nassib’s courage or praised Nassib for trying to help young LGTBQ people.
2. On a much lighter and less significant note, we need to remember Nassib was a breakout star on the Browns’ season of Hard Knocks in 2018.
3. Ronald Acuña Jr. celebrated an absolute laser of a home run against the Mets on Monday night by putting his hand to his ear and encouraging the New York crowd to boo him even more as he rounded the bases, and it was excellent.
4. Julian Edelman can get away with this stuff now that he doesn’t need Tom Brady to throw him the ball.
5. It was nice to see Dwight Howard bring some sanity to the Ben Simmons situation, because the backlash toward Simmons was getting disturbing.
6. The latest episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features an interview with my colleague Jon Wertheim.
Wertheim has a new book out, Glory Days: The Summer of 1984 and the 90 Days That Changed Sports and Culture Forever. During the podcast, we discussed several topics covered in the book including the animosity-filled relationship between Bobby Knight and Charles Barkley, the NBA Finals between the Celtics and Lakers that saw a referee pass out because of the oppressive heat inside Boston Garden, Donald Trump destroying the USFL and much more.
Wertheim also talks about David Stern’s and Vince McMahon’s recognizing the importance of cable back in 1984 and explains how Cyndi Lauper’s involvement in the then WWF led to the birth of WrestleMania. Other events from ’84 that we discussed on the podcast include the release of The Karate Kid, Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour and more.
Following Wertheim, we debut a new Traina Thoughts segment for the podcast.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: One of the best player rants in sports history took place on this date 40 years ago.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.