Entrepreneurs

Carl Nassib Didn’t Just Become the NFL’s First Openly Gay Player. His Announcement Also Reveals the Power of a Different Kind of Compound ‘Interest’

On Monday, Oakland Raider defensive lineman Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to publicly identify as gay. Nassib’s announcement deservedly generated widespread attention.

And, oddly enough, caused a three year-old video from the HBO series Hard Knocks showing Nassib explaining the power of compound interest to his then-Browns teammates, to go relatively viral.

(While no bank offers 10 percent interest, still: Earning 10 percent a year for seven years will, in fact, basically double your money. And it’s also true that if you spend $10,000 today instead of investing it — again assuming you earn 10 percent per year — that you will miss out on having $175,000 in thirty years.)

Nassib clearly believes in the power of compound interest.

But not just where finances are concerned.

On Tuesday, Dan Le Batard asked psychologist and author John Amaechi if Nassib’s announcement would do nothing more than “stir all of the attention that’s been hidden so people can fight about something.”

This young man is a force for good. What he has done today… there is a young person watching him right now who has walked to school lighter. Even if they have disclosed nothing about themselves, they have walked to school with a greater sense of hope today because of this young man.

Today, an NFL player has made at least one child feel hope. This is good. 

That’s the true power of compound interest. One child who feels more accepted, more included, more a part of the world around him? His lightness — his hope — may positively affect another child. Who may, in turn, affect another child. One becomes two. Two becomes four. Four becomes eight.

With time, one becomes thousands.

As Nassib says, “Studies have shown that all it takes is one accepting adult to to decrease the risk of an LGBTQ kid attempting suicide by 40 percent. Whether you’re a friend, a parent, a coach, or a teammate — you can be that person.”

Which will, in turn, help other people decide to be “that person” for someone else.

That’s the power of a different kind of compound interest: Interest in accepting and embracing people for who they are.

Not who we think they should be.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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