Carl Nassib Jersey Sales Skyrocket After Becoming First Active NFL Player To Say He’s Gay
Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Carl Nassib.
In the 24 hours after Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to say that he is gay, sales of his No. 94 jersey skyrocketed, becoming the best selling NFL jersey on Fanatics and its sister websites, including NFLShop.com.
Fanatics spokesman Brandon Williams said the company could not disclose specific numbers, but that more jerseys were sold of Nassib’s in a day than the amount of jerseys sold of the No. 2 best seller, new Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields, that were sold in the last two days.
The support for Nassib isn’t all that surprising. In 2014, when St. Louis Rams draftee Michael Sam — who was taken with the 249th pick — said he was gay, his No. 97 was the second-best rookie jersey in sales behind only Johnny Manziel. It wasn’t a blip either, from April-July 2014, more Sam jerseys were sold than jerseys of Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers.
Sam was cut in August and never played in an NFL game.
Nassib’s popularity was not only evident by people voting with their wallets and buying his jersey. He went from 40,000 Instagram followers on Monday to 260,000 on Tuesday.
Nassib, 27, who was a unanimous All-American and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 at Penn State, signed a three-year deal with the Raiders last March worth $25 million ($17 million guaranteed).