Has the Internet Figured Out Who Carl Nassib's Boyfriend Is?

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday October 4, 2021

Carl Nassib's Oct. 1 announcement that he now has a boyfriend was as casual and off-the-cuff as his coming out on social media last June, and it prompted the internet to get to work figuring out who the lucky man might be.

Mere days later, it seems that sharp-eyed followers of Nassib's social media may have zeroed in. "Internet sleuths quickly surmised that a man named Erik Gudzinas could be the lucky boyfriend, with his Instagram page featuring several pics of the pair hanging out and looking really happy together," Out reported.

As reported at EDGE, Nassib mentioned having a boyfriend during an Oct. 1 appearance on fellow Raiders player Darren Waller's podcast, "Comeback Stories."

Nassib told Waller and his co-host, Donny Starkins, that he had "just wanted to be someone's number one priority, and I couldn't have that" while he remained closeted, E! recounted.

"But I got that now, so it's good," Nassib added, before going on to say, "Oh, I met an awesome guy. He's the best." Nassib did not say who he was talking about, but pictures of the two together have appeared on both Nassib and Gudzinas's social media accounts.

In the Oct. 1 interview, Nassib detailed the struggle he had with the timing of his coming out, feeling unsure about his teammates, and the potential for his career to be damaged. "I didn't know how people would react," Nassib said. "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."

When he did come out, though, it was in a decidedly low-key manner, simply announcing he is gay and saying that he is a private person and was not looking for attention for himself. "I just think that representation and visibility are so important," Nassib said. "I actually hope that one day videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary."

When the show's hosts noted that Nassib had shattered a longstanding silence with his June 21 announcement, becoming the NFL's first (and, so far, only) active player to come out of the closet, the 28-year-old quickly spoke to his motivations.

"I didn't do it to break barriers," Nassib reiterated. "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."

"I just want to, like, lead through my actions," the out athlete added. "To anybody out there who's struggling, I've got your back."

Watch Nassib's Oct. 1 appearance on "Comeback Stories" below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.