▶ Watch Video: NFL stars praise Carl Nassib, first active player to come out as gay

President Joe Biden has applauded pro athletes Carl Nassib and Kumi Yokoyama for announcing their LGBTQ identities. 

“To Carl Nassib and Kumi Yokoyama – two prominent, inspiring athletes who came out this week: I’m so proud of your courage,” Mr. Biden said in a tweet Tuesday. “Because of you, countless kids around the world are seeing themselves in a new light today.”

Nassib, a Las Vegas Raiders defensive end, came out as gay on Monday, becoming the first active player in the NFL to do so. “Just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” he said in video posted to Instagram. “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest.” 

Yokoyama, Japanese women’s international soccer star and Washington Spirit forward, announced in an 18-minute YouTube video on Sunday that they came out as a transgender man. 

“Coming out wasn’t something I was enthusiastic about, but if I think about my life going forward, it would be harder to live closeted, so I found the courage to come out,” they said. 

Mr. Biden has been a staunch defender of LGBTQ rights. Throughout June, he shared several tweets in support of the LGBTQ community for Pride Month. 

His administration has also worked to reverse Trump-era polices impacting transgender people. The Department of Education announced last week that transgender students are now protected under Title IX – a federal civil rights law that protects people from discrimination based on sex, gender identity and sexual orientation. Last month, his administration announced they will protect gay and transgender people against sex discrimination in health care. 

More than 30 states have considered or passed restrictions against transgender athletes and at least seven have enacted anti-transgender legislation this session, according to the Human Rights Campaign. In response, Mr. Biden told transgender Americans during a joint session of Congress, “I want you to know your president has your back.”