By Staff

PROVINCETOWN (CBS) — Support is pouring in for Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib, who came out as the NFL’s first openly gay player. Other players have come out after retirement, including a former defensive lineman who now lives in Provincetown.

Retired Atlanta Falcon’s player Esera Tuaolo hopes Nassib’s video will give others the courage to be themselves.

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“Just wanted to take a quick moment and say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in his Instagram video.

The move seemed out of reach when Tuaola was in the league two decades ago.

“When I found out it was Carl, amazing, absolutely amazing,” Tuaolo told WBZ-TV.

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He came out in 2002 after retiring as a Falcon and has since moved to Provincetown, where he said being out is celebrated.

“I think he’s coming out just to be true to himself, but also to be happy. You don’t realize this stuff, the things that we live when we’re living a half-life, when you are living with a crippling secret and you can’t live your true self. …. It’s very hard.”

Tuaolo said a lot has changed in the league over the last 20 years, including more people coming out and sharing their stories. “Also, social media helping with people tell their stories, coming out to their families and their friends.”

He believes Nassib’s story will inspire others to come out and live authentically without fear of judgment.

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“As he comes out, as a lot of other athletes will come out, I really think we will have a day where we don’t have to worry about it, like he said in his video,” Tuaolo said. Staff