Carl Nassib made history earlier this year by becoming the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
But the Las Vegas Raiders star admits he was hesitant to open up about his sexuality, fearing it could cost him his job.
Speaking on teammate Darren Waller's 'Comeback Stories' podcast, the 28-year-old also admitted that he would have come out earlier but was worried the announcement would "ruin my career".
"I thought about it every once in a while," Nassib said.
"Thought about how I wanted to do it. When I could do it."
"I didn't know how people would react. I wanted to make sure I was financially stable before I did it. I didn't know if it would ruin my career. I didn't know if guys would be supportive or not."
Nassib went on to explain that he knew he was gay around four years ago but was reluctant to reveal his sexuality while he was trying to establish himself in the NFL.
"I didn't do it to break barriers, I did it because I felt an obligation to the LGBTQ community to bring representation and visibility to a very, very popular entertainment business and industry that doesn't have a lot of representation," he added.
"When I decided to come out, it was not easy. Personally, for my life, I didn't want to do it. But I felt a huge obligation to my community, to all the young kids out there who are struggling with their sexuality. If I could help just a few of them out, then I could sleep better at night."
After coming out earlier in the year, the talented defensive end received overwhelming praise from past and present players as well as the wider American football community.
Away from the field, he is continuing to be a huge inspiration and role model.
On the field, he has helped guide the Las Vegas Raiders to a 3-0 start in the season for the first time in nearly two decades.
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