Wednesday, June 23, 2021


My mother hated President RICHARD MILHOUS NIXON, once taunting the President of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, of which my father was a Director, stating, "How do you like your President now, Jesse?!"

I was elated when Nixon resigned -- mom and I watched on a small black and white tv in her office at Camden County College, where she was purchasing secretary.  Later that month, I volunteered to work for Senator Ted Kennedy, whom I was honored to work for as interns and staffer, 1974-76, starting the day before my first c

Nixon resigned and barely escaped prison.  Here's his own words on obstruction of justice, than ks to

The Smoking Gun Tape

This is the transcript and recording of a meeting between President Nixon and his Chief of Staff, H.R. Haldeman, in the Oval Office on June 23, 1972.

The conversation took place from 10.04am to 11.39am. The recording subsequently became known as the Smoking Gun and led directly to Nixon’s resignation.

The release of the tape was ordered by the Supreme Court on July 24, 1974, in a case known as United States v. Nixon. The court’s decision was unanimous.

President Nixon released the tape on August 5. It was one of three conversations he had with Haldeman six days after the Watergate break-in. The tapes prove that he ordered a cover-up of the Watergate burglary. The Smoking Gun tape reveals that Nixon ordered the FBI to abandon its investigation of the break-in.

After the release of the tape, the eleven Republicans on the Judiciary Committee who voted against impeachment charges said they would change their votes. It was clear that Nixon would be impeached and convicted in the Senate.  Nixon announced his resignation on August 8. 

Listen to the Smoking Gun tape (8m)

From the Richard Nixon Library (6m)

Transcript of the “smoking gun” tape, June 23, 1972.

Haldeman: Okay -that’s fine. Now, on the investigation, you know, the Democratic break-in thing, we’re back to the-in the, the problem area because the FBI is not under control, because Gray doesn’t exactly know how to control them, and they have, their investigation is now leading into some productive areas, because they’ve been able to trace the money, not through the money itself, but through the bank, you know, sources – the banker himself. And, and it goes in some directions we don’t want it to go. Ah, also there have been some things, like an informant came in off the street to the FBI in Miami, who was a photographer or has a friend who is a photographer who developed some films through this guy, Barker, and the films had pictures of Democratic National Committee letter head documents and things. So I guess, so it’s things like that that are gonna, that are filtering in. Mitchell came up with yesterday, and John Dean analyzed very carefully last night and concludes, concurs now with Mitchell’s recommendation that the only way to solve this, and we’re set up beautifully to do it, ah, in that and that…the only network that paid any attention to it last night was NBC…they did a massive story on the Cuban…

Nixon:   That’s right.

Haldeman:   thing.

Nixon:  Right.

Haldeman:   That the way to handle this now is for us to have Walters call Pat Gray and just say, “Stay the hell out of this…this is ah, business here we don’t want you to go any further on it.” That’s not an unusual development,…

Nixon:  Um huh.

Haldeman:   …and, uh, that would take care of it.

Nixon:  What about Pat Gray, ah, you mean he doesn’t want to?

Haldeman:  Pat does want to. He doesn’t know how to, and he doesn’t have, he doesn’t have any basis for doing it. Given this, he will then have the basis. He’ll call Mark Felt in, and the two of them …and Mark Felt wants to cooperate because…

Nixon:  Yeah.

Haldeman:   he’s ambitious…

Nixon: Yeah.

Haldeman:  Ah, he’ll call him in and say, “We’ve got the signal from across the river to, to put the hold on this.” And that will fit rather well because the FBI agents who are working the case, at this point, feel that’s what it is. This is CIA.

Nixon:  But they’ve traced the money to ’em.

Haldeman:  Well they have, they’ve traced to a name, but they haven’t gotten to the guy yet.

Nixon:  Would it be somebody here?

Haldeman:  Ken Dahlberg.

Nixon:  Who the hell is Ken Dahlberg?

Haldeman:  He’s ah, he gave $25,000 in Minnesota and ah, the check went directly in to this, to this guy Barker.

Nixon:  Maybe he’s a …bum.

Nixon:  He didn’t get this from the committee though, from Stans.

Haldeman:  Yeah. It is. It is. It’s directly traceable and there’s some more through some Texas people in–that went to the Mexican bank which they can also trace to the Mexican bank…they’ll get their names today. And (pause)

Nixon:  Well, I mean, ah, there’s no way… I’m just thinking if they don’t cooperate, what do they say? They they, they were approached by the Cubans. That’s what Dahlberg has to say, the Texans too. Is that the idea?

Haldeman:  Well, if they will. But then we’re relying on more and more people all the time. That’s the problem. And ah, they’ll stop if we could, if we take this other step.

Nixon:  All right. Fine.

Haldeman:  And, and they seem to feel the thing to do is get them to stop?

Nixon:  Right, fine.

Haldeman:  They say the only way to do that is from White House instructions. And it’s got to be to Helms and, ah, what’s his name…? Walters.

Nixon:  Walters.

Haldeman:  And the proposal would be that Ehrlichman (coughs) and I call them in

Nixon:  All right, fine.

Haldeman:  and say, ah…

Nixon:  How do you call him in, I mean you just, well, we protected Helms from one hell of a lot of things.

Haldeman:  That’s what Ehrlichman says.

Nixon:  Of course, this is a, this is a Hunt, you will-that will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there’s a hell of a lot of things and that we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves. Well what the hell, did Mitchell know about this thing to any much of a degree.

Haldeman:  I think so. I don ‘t think he knew the details, but I think he knew.

Nixon:  He didn’t know how it was going to be handled though, with Dahlberg and the Texans and so forth? Well who was the asshole that did? (Unintelligible) Is it Liddy? Is that the fellow? He must be a little nuts.

Haldeman:  He is.

Nixon:  I mean he just isn’t well screwed on is he? Isn’t that the problem?

Haldeman:  No, but he was under pressure, apparently, to get more information, and as he got more pressure, he pushed the people harder to move harder on…

Nixon:  Pressure from Mitchell?

Haldeman:  Apparently.

Nixon:  Oh, Mitchell, Mitchell was at the point that you made on this, that exactly what I need from you is on the–

Haldeman:  Gemstone, yeah.

Nixon:  All right, fine, I understand it all. We won’t second-guess Mitchell and the rest. Thank God it wasn’t Colson.

Haldeman:  The FBI interviewed Colson yesterday. They determined that would be a good thing to do.

Nixon:  Um hum.

Haldeman:  Ah, to have him take a…

Nixon:  Um hum.

Haldeman:  An interrogation, which he did, and that, the FBI guys working the case had concluded that there were one or two possibilities, one, that this was a White House, they don’t think that there is anything at the Election Committee, they think it was either a White House operation and they had some obscure reasons for it, non political,…

Nixon:  Uh huh.

Haldeman:  or it was a…

Nixon:  Cuban thing-

Haldeman:  Cubans and the CIA. And after their interrogation of, of…

Nixon:  Colson.

Haldeman:  Colson, yesterday, they concluded it was not the White House, but are now convinced it is a CIA thing, so the CIA turn off would…

Nixon:  Well, not sure of their analysis, I’m not going to get that involved. I’m (unintelligible).

Haldeman:  No, sir. We don’t want you to.

Nixon:  You call them in.

Nixon:  Good. Good deal! Play it tough. That’s the way they play it and that’s the way we are going to play it.

Haldeman:  O.K. We’ll do it.

Nixon:  Yeah, when I saw that news summary item, I of course knew it was a bunch of crap, but I thought ah, well it’s good to have them off on this wild hair thing because when they start bugging us, which they have, we’ll know our little boys will not know how to handle it. I hope they will though. You never know. Maybe, you think about it. Good!


Nixon:  When you get in these people when you…get these people in, say: “Look, the problem is that this will open the whole, the whole Bay of Pigs thing, and the President just feels that” ah, without going into the details… don’t, don’t lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this is sort of a comedy of errors, bizarre, without getting into it, “the President believes that it is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again. And, ah because these people are plugging for, for keeps and that they should call the FBI in and say that we wish for the country, don’t go any further into this case”, period!

Haldeman:  OK.

Nixon:  That’s the way to put it, do it straight (Unintelligible)

Haldeman:  Get more done for our cause by the opposition than by us at this point.

Nixon:  You think so?

Haldeman:  I think so, yeah.

Feds need to reject Florida’s fatally flawed gambling deal with Seminole Tribe | Editorial. (Orlando Sentinel)

I agree with the Orlando Sentinel editorial board.  

The latest Seminole Nation gambling deal inked by arrogant, money-hungry, other-directed Florida Governor, RONALD DION DeSANTIS, and rubberstamped by our most of our misguided state legislators, needs to be rejected by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. 

From the Orlando Sentinel:

Feds need to reject Florida’s fatally flawed gambling deal with Seminole Tribe | Editorial

No matter what the state of Florida might claim, it is not asking the U.S. Department of the Interior to approve a deal that legalizes sports betting on Seminole tribal land.

It’s asking the federal government to approve a precedent-setting deal with the Seminole Tribe that authorizes sports betting on every square inch of Florida — tribal land or not — from Pensacola to Key West. 

For that reason — and others we’ll get to in a moment — Interior Secretary Deb Haaland should reject the compact and bounce it back until Florida and the tribe can get it right.

No doubt, the Seminoles deserve a fair deal with the state, which has treated the tribe shabbily for years.

This isn’t it. The Legislature approved — and Gov. Ron DeSantis signed — a deal with the tribe in May that isn’t consistent with federal law or the Florida Constitution, which mandates that the state’s voters must approve any expansion of gambling.

Now Florida is asking the federal government to become an accomplice.

Haaland’s Interior Department, which is expected to make a decision next month, needs to zero in on the fact that Florida’s deal with the Seminoles would allow sports betting to take place anywhere in the state.

That’s in direct violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which at its core is designed to regulate gaming “on Indian Lands.” The law could not be clearer.

The Seminole Tribe owns about 90,000 acres in Florida, but the sports betting deal with the Seminoles would cover the state’s entire 42 million acres, allowing anyone with a smartphone to place a bet from literally anywhere.

That’s because Florida’s deal with the Seminole relies on a bizarre interpretation of where a bet is placed. Florida’s trying to convince everyone it not where the person make the bet with their smartphone but where the computer servers that process the bet are located, which under this deal will be on Seminole property.

In other words, if someone inside their Orlando home makes a bet on a football game, the state of Florida is saying that bet is really being made on a computer server in a faraway, air-conditioned office on Seminole Indian property somewhere.

If the state’s thinking on this issue was consistent, it would tax online sales not based on where the consumer is but where the Amazon, Walmart or Etsy server is located.

Florida doesn’t collect online sales tax that way because it wouldn’t make any more sense than thinking an online bet placed at a downtown Miami bar is actually being made at the Seminole Reservation in Tampa, if that’s where the server is located.

This isn’t a new legal issue. A federal judge in California ruled in 2018 that an online bingo game being run by a tribe there “constitutes gaming activity that is not located on Indian lands …”

Florida’s deal violates federal law in another important way: It would allow new forms of betting that currently aren’t legal in Florida.

The federal law says Class III gambling is allowed on Indian land if it’s already legal in a state. Sports betting isn’t legal in Florida. Neither are craps and roulette, which the deal authorizes at Seminole casinos.

They’re not legal in Florida now and they won’t become legal until voters approve those new forms of betting through a citizen-initiated, statewide referendum.

It’s right there in Florida’s constitution, in an amendment that 71% of the state’s voters approved in 2018. 

The Legislature and the governor didn’t have the authority to approve new Class III gambling. They simply ignored the amendment’s requirement for a statewide referendum when they approved the compact with the Seminole Tribe.

Now they want the federal government to go along as well, to approve a compact that appears to violate both federal and state law.

The compact also contains a sneaky little provision that pave the way for a couple of existing casinos to move to new locations, one of which is believed to be Donald Trump’s Doral resort in Miami. This part has nothing to do with the Seminoles, and everything to do with political favors.

We understand why the federal government might wish to defer to the Seminole Tribe’s wishes. Florida failed to live up to the terms of a previous compact, and the Seminoles got a raw deal.

DeSantis and the state were correct in trying to make things right. The core issue is that the deal they made is rotten. 

It pretends Florida’s voters didn’t overwhelmingly decide a few years ago that they should decide whether casino gambling is expanded. It pretends that sports betting doesn’t take place where the actual bet is made. 

The feds need to send this deal back to Florida, or open the floodgates to more such proposals from other states. Let DeSantis and the tribe reach a new agreement that’s legal and constitutional. Then the governor can call another special session of the Legislature to get it passed.

Just because Florida reached a bad deal doesn’t mean the federal government is obliged to become a party to it. 

Editorials are the opinion of the Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board and are written by one of its members or a designee. The editorial board consists of Opinion Editor Mike Lafferty, Jennifer A. Marcial Ocasio, Jay Reddick and Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson. Send emails to

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Federal judge denies injunction over St. Johns County Pride proclamation. (News4Jax)

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Timothy Corrigan found that the remedy sought was too "extraordinary," so Sara Bloomberg v. St. Johns County Commission Chairman JEREMIAH RAY BLOCKER and St. Johns County Commissioners moves on to discovery, motions and trial.  Judge Corrigan urged the parties to discuss settlement. 

JEREMIAH RAY BLOCKER and County Administrator HUNTER SINCLAIR CONRAD signed no affidavits and were not in court on June 22, 2021.

Their videotaped depositions will be taken for discovery and evidence at trial.

St. Johns County Government Connection - Home | Facebook

Federal judge denies injunction over St. Johns County Pride proclamation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A federal judge on Tuesday denied a request to force the St. Johns County Commission to consider a county-wide Pride proclamation, but the attorney who brought the LGBTQ+ community feels they will ultimately prevail.

The lawsuit says the county commission violated peoples’ rights to freedom of speech and equal protection by rejecting the proclamation recognizing the county’s LGBTQ+ community.

“We were asking the federal court to put something on their agenda,” said attorney Rook Ringer, who admitted their request was for extraordinary relief from the judge. “(The lawsuit) is still going on and we’re probably going to win, it’s just not going to happen during pride month.”

The 13-page lawsuit was filed earlier this month by Sara Bloomberg, the founder of a group that provides resources for LGBTQ+ youth.

According to the lawsuit, this began in March, when Bloomberg emailed County Commissioner Henry Dean asking him to discuss a Pride proclamation.

It says Dean seemed open to the idea and indicated he’d bring the matter up with county staff.

It goes on to say Bloomberg got a phone call nearly two months later from a county employee which said the board would not consider the proclamation because Chairman Jeremiah Blocker “felt it was too ‘controversial’ and ‘left-leaning.’”

“This is not a left or right issue. It is not a Republican or a Democratic or Independent or Libertarian issue,” Bloomberg told News4Jax. “This is a human rights issue.”

The lawsuit also says the commission went against Sunshine Law by denying Bloomberg’s request to put the proclamation on a public agenda and says the board failed to keep “proper public records of official decisions” by “communicating this decision through a phone call and deliberately avoiding any ‘paper trail’ of this unlawful decision.”

Blocker didn’t respond to News4Jax’s request for comment, but St. Johns County Attorney Patrick McCormack said, “The county is reviewing the court filing and will respond through the legal process.”

June 22, 1981: Appalachian Observer Begins Work

Forty years ago today I woke up in Washington, D.C., flew to East Tennessee, met my new publisher, started the Appalachian Observer and took in my first Anderson County School Board meeting.

Anderson County suffered from a School Dictator.  That's what Eastern Kentucky's sage, Harry Caudill called them in "Night Comes to the Cumberlands," where corrupt coal-dominated Courthouse gangs suppressed dissent, hiring and firing political patronage employees, many of them school employees.

Anderson County's School Dictator was Paul Eugene Bostic, Sr., thirteen year veteran of the job, who presided over a corrupt Democratic political machine that fired teachers that did not support his candidates.  

After flying into Knoxville and going with Ernie for lunch at Miller's Restaurant, we set about undoing the corrupt political machine, working with his wife, Annie to design our newspaper layout and plan our attack.  That night, I entered the Anderson County Courthouse and attended a School Board meeting on the third floor, in the large Circuit Courtroom. 

There, School Superintendent Bostic and seven School Board members sat around a table, without microphones or public address system.  Parents of rural Marlow Elementary School children were angry and protesting, ignored by Bostic & Co.  Their beef: the PTA had purchased kitchen equipment, which Bostic was in the process of removing, planning to substitute lukewarm food trucked in from elsewhere.  When parents would ask a question, Bostic & Co. would duck them.  Bostic would mumble and mutter into his tie.  So I stood up and said, "Mr. Bostic, would you please speak louder and enunciate, sir?"

Bostic responded, "Who said that?  Who said that?"  

A few days later, newspaper owner Ernest F. Phillips and I distributed copies of our tabloid prospectus to Independence Day fireworks watchers at Lake City High School in Lake City, Tennessee (now renamed Rocky Top, after a failed development that violated songwriter's intellectual property rights).

Our four page prospectus listed stories we would cover and was headlined, "Celebrate Independence!"  We promised not to be one of those dull newspapers that refused to cover the news, like our competitors, the Clinton Courier-News, The Oak Ridger, Knoxville Journal and Knoxville News-Sentinel.  We told our prospective readers in our prospectus that those newspapers practiced "Chain Gang Journalism." We promised not to be misled, or to mislead them.

A graduate of Lincoln Memorial University, a former underground coal miner, Ernie Phillips disliked strip-mining and disclosed chicanery to me while I was on a Fund for Investigative Journalism grant as an undergraduate.   

Ernie was the former Criminal Investigator for District Attorney General James Nelson Ramsey, whose indictments of local officials on corruption charges embroiled the Courthouse.  The local Establishment hated Ramsey because he indicted several of them.  One of them, County Court Clerk John Marshall Purdy, committed suicide in his daughter's yard in Nashville after being indicted for embezzlement.  The local Sheriff, Dennis O. Trotter, was in our sights, and was later indicted, arrested, and pled guilty to federal criminal charges. 

The School Superintendent's son was Paul Eugene "Jencks" Bostic, Jr., President of City and County Bank of Anderson County.  Jencks' Bostics's bosses, bankers Jacob Frank "Jake" Butcher and his brother C.H. later went to federal prison.  Their lawyer supposedly committed suicide.  But on June 22, 1981, the Butchers still presided over a corrupt banking network that planned the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville.  

Butcher's home, Whirlwind, was across Melton Hill Lake from Oak Ridge, scene of many environmental crimes I would later help expose.  Mrs. Sonya Butcher once got Jake some well-needed property tax relief when she told the Equalization Board her home was next to a nuclear waste dump and noisy railroad trains!)

Anderson County was coalfields and energy production in the northwest mountains, and classified national security nuclear weapons plant pollution in the south, at Oak Ridge. Like a "cask tapped at both ends," as Alexander Hamilton said of New Jersey, Anderson County had two of the Nation's worst industries, coal and nuclear.  Most of the thirteen County Commissioners wore their Union Carbide security clearance badges on their shirt pockets from the X-10, Y-12 and K-25 plants.   The Department of Energy, Union Carbide and a crooked Sheriff named Dennis O. Trotter ruled these parts.  

At the school board that night, forty years ago, on June 22, 1981, who knew where our new newspaper would take us?

Grateful for NFL Football Player Carl Nassib's Coming Out as Gay

Carl Nassib is the first current-serving member on NFL football team to come out as Gay.  Since Dave Kopay came out as a Gay ex-player in 1973, no current NFL player has come out.  Three cheers for the courageous Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib, who "came out" yesterday.

Carl Nassib's donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, which works to prevent LGBTQIA+ suicide.

Closer to home, when St. Johns County Commission Chairman JEREMIAH RAY BLOCKER and unqualified, illegally-hired County Administrator HUNTER SINCLAIR CONRAD blocked the Pride Proclamation refused to talk to Pride sponsors and said Pride Month is too "controversial," good and decent people responded as they have throughout American history.  

We unite and we win victories, in the spirit of our victory over Nazi Germany, which my father helped fight.  

In the prayer of General George S. Patton, Jr. at Bastogne in 1944, "Graciously hearken to us soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen."

As Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. once said, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

The St. Johns County LGBTQIA+ Pride plaintiff (Sara Bloomberg) and her lawyer (Rook Elizabeth Ringer) are going to federal court this morning, in a courthouse named for courageous federal Judge Bryan Simpson, who ruled correctly on every single civil rights issue arising in St. Augustine and St. Johns County, a place that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called "the most lawless" in America.


From The New York Times:

Raiders’ Carl Nassib Announces He’s Gay, an N.F.L. First

The Raiders defensive lineman came out in a statement posted to his Instagram account on Monday, becoming the first active player in the league to publicly identify as gay.


Carl Nassib Becomes First Openly Gay Active N.F.L. Player

The Raiders defensive lineman came out in a video posted on social media and said he would donate $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a nonprofit dedicated to suicide prevention efforts for L.G.B.T.Q. youth.

What’s up, people. I’m Carl Nassib. I’m at my house here in West Chester, Pa. I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life. I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for. I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that one day videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary. But until then, you know, I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate. And I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project. They’re an incredible organization. They’re the No. 1 suicide prevention service for L.G.B.T.Q. youth in America, and they’re truly doing incredible things. And I’m very excited to be a part of it to help in any way that I can. And I’m really pumped to see what the future holds.

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The Raiders defensive lineman came out in a video posted on social media and said he would donate $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a nonprofit dedicated to suicide prevention efforts for L.G.B.T.Q. youth.CreditCredit...John Bazemore/Associated Press

On Monday, Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib became the first active N.F.L. player to publicly declare that he is gay.

“I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in a video posted to his Instagram account. “I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that like one day videos like this and the whole coming-out process are just not necessary, but until then I’m going to do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate,” before adding that he would donate $100,000 to The Trevor Project, a nonprofit group that focuses on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth.

“Sadly, I have agonized over this moment for the last 15 years,” he wrote in the same post.

Nassib, a five-year N.F.L. veteran who previously played with the Cleveland Browns and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said he was finally “comfortable getting it off my chest.”

Nassib, 28, thanked his coaches, teammates and the N.F.L. for their support.

“I would not be able to do this without them,” he wrote in his Instagram post.

In a statement Monday, Commissioner Roger Goodell said he was “proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today. Representation matters.”

The Raiders quickly showed their support for Nassib’s announcement, writing “proud of you, Carl” in a post to the team’s Twitter account that also included his original statement. Two of his teammates, defensive lineman Darius Stills and edge rusher Maxx Crosby, voiced their support by commenting under Nassib’s post that they were proud of him. DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the N.F.L. Players Association also said in a Twitter post that he and the union supported Nassib.

Nassib’s announcement, made during Pride Month, is a significant turning point for the N.F.L., and makes him the first openly gay active player in the league’s 101-year history.

“Sports are, in many ways, one of the last bastions of a place where homophobia can thrive,” said Cathy Renna, a spokeswoman for the National L.G.B.T.Q. Task Force. “So to have a professional athlete of that caliber, particularly in one of the major sports leagues like the N.F.L., it really is historic.”

A bevy of current and former athletes from around sports reacted positively to Nassib's announcement, including the retired tennis star Billie Jean King, who wrote, “the ability to live an authentic life is so important,” in a social media post Monday.

Sarah Kate Ellis, chief executive of the L.G.B.T.Q. advocacy organization Glaad, called the announcement “a historic reflection of the growing state of L.G.B.T.Q. visibility and inclusion in the world of professional sports, which has been driven by a long list of brave L.G.B.T.Q. athletes who came before him.”

Michael Sam, an all-American defensive lineman at Missouri, had been viewed as the most likely to acquire that distinction when he announced he is gay before he being chosen by the Rams in the seventh round of the 2014 N.F.L. draft, but he was cut at the end of that year’s training camp. The Dallas Cowboys signed Sam to their practice squad, but he never played in a regular season game.

ImageMichael Sam publicly came out as gay before he was selected in the seventh round of the 2014 N.F.L. draft but never played in a regular season game.
Credit...LM Otero/Associated Press

Sam’s draft status was seen as a barometer of whether the climate of men’s pro sports was becoming more accepting of gay athletes, particularly because in February 2014 the N.B.A. had just become the first of the four traditional major American men’s sports leagues to have an openly gay active player when Jason Collins joined the Nets.

But Sam left the N.F.L. without making an impact on the field.

Nassib, by contrast, has already played with three teams over five seasons and is under contract through 2022. After a collegiate career at Penn State, he was chosen by the Browns in the third round of the 2016 draft. He played two seasons in Cleveland before playing two more seasons in Tampa. The Raiders signed him to a three-year, $25 million contract in March 2020. He has tallied 20½ sacks during his career.

A handful of N.F.L. players had previously announced publicly that they were gay, but all after their playing careers were over. David Kopay became the first pro football player to publicly come out as gay in 1975, three years after he retired. He played for nine seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and four other teams in the 1960s and 1970s, and has since become an activist and an ambassador for the Gay Games, a quadrennial sporting event.

Roy Simmons was the second former player to announce that he was gay, doing so in 1992 after his career with the Giants and Washington Football Team had ended. He later disclosed he was H.I.V. positive and died from pneumonia-related complications in 2014 at age 57.

Some players like Simmons said they felt they had no choice but to hide their sexual identity while they were in the league. Simmons said he cultivated a reputation for being the life of the party, and had to compartmentalize his football life and his personal life.

Simmons also said he never would have declared himself gay during the four seasons he played for the N.F.L. for fear of destroying his career.

‘’The N.F.L. has a reputation,” he said in 2003, “and it’s not even a verbal thing — it’s just known. You are gladiators; you are male; you kick butt.”

In recent years, the league has publicly supported Pride Month through promotional efforts like changing official social media avatars to include rainbows and supporting the You Can Play Project, which provides resources to encourage inclusivity in youth sports, even as some players have made derogatory statements about gay people with little penalty or supported groups that oppose gay rights.

Esera Tuaolo, a former Minnesota Vikings player, publicly came out as gay in 2002.
Credit...Steve Wewerka for The New York Times

In 2013, Chris Culliver of the San Francisco 49ers and Chris Clemons of the Seattle Seahawks made offensive comments when asked about the prospect of having a gay teammate.

“Got no gay people on the team,” Culliver said. “They gotta get up outta here if they do.” Culliver later apologized, saying, “I’m sorry if I offended anyone. They were very ugly comments.”

San Francisco running back Garrison Hearst apologized in 2002 for using a slur and saying he wouldn’t want a gay player as a teammate. His comment came after the former Minnesota Vikings player Esera Tuaolo publicly came out as gay that year after he had retired. Hearst’s comment elicited public apologies from the 49ers’ team owners and then-head coach Steve Mariucci, but no penalty from the league.

“Being an African American, I know that discrimination is wrong,” Hearst later said. “I was wrong for saying what I said about anybody, any race or any religion.”

The league had little to do with Sam’s announcement because it came before he was drafted. Former N.F.L. players like Brendon Ayanbadejo, who played with the Baltimore Ravens, defended same-sex marriage and gay rights and supported Sam at the time. But few active players publicly echoed his support.

Seven years after Sam’s announcement, Nassib’s announcement has been met with ready public support both from the league itself and the Raiders, a team that had previously made notable football milestones with its hires. Tom Flores, who is Mexican-American, was the first Latino coach in the N.F.L. and led the team to Super Bowl titles after the 1981 and 1983 seasons.

Amy Trask in 1997 became the Raiders’ chief executive and the first woman of that rank in the N.F.L. The team drafted Eldridge Dickey, the first Black quarterback taken in the first round, in 1968, when the Raiders played in the A.F.L.

“We hope that Carl’s historic representation in the N.F.L. will inspire young L.G.B.T.Q. athletes across the country to live their truth and pursue their dreams,” Amit Paley, the executive director and chief executive of the Trevor Project, said in a statement Monday.

Emmanuel Morgan and Jesus Jimenez contributed reporting.