Biden salutes Nassib, Yokoyama for 'courage' coming out

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib made history on Monday after coming out as the first openly gay active player in the National Football League.

In this file photo Carl Nassib #94 of the Las Vegas Raiders flexes while smiling during warmups before a game against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium on 15 November 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Picture: ETHAN MILLER/AFP

WASHINGTON - US President Joe Biden on Tuesday saluted the "courage" of two professional sports figures for coming out in public - one as being gay, the other as being a transgender man.

"To Carl Nassib and Kumi Yokoyama - two prominent, inspiring athletes who came out this week: I'm proud of your courage," Biden tweeted.

"Because of you, countless kids around the world are seeing themselves in a new light today."

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib made history on Monday after coming out as the first openly gay active player in the National Football League.

Nassib, 28 and a five-year veteran of the NFL, made the announcement in a video posted on Instagram.

Several NFL players have come out after leaving the league, the most popular professional sport in the United States.

In 2014, college player Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams after coming out as gay but was released after playing in a handful of pre-season games and never played a regular-season game in the league.

Japanese Women's World Cup star Kumi Yokoyama, 27, recently came out as a transgender man - one of the few athletes to do so in a country where LGBTQ rights lag behind other developed nations.

Yokoyama, who represented Japan at the 2019 Women's World Cup and currently plays for National Women's Soccer League side Washington Spirit, said living in the United States made it easier to be "open" about sexuality and gender.

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