An NFL free agent and former defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers has publicly revealed he is bisexual.
Ryan Russell shared his truth in an ESPN profile.
“I do have one strong regret that has inspired me to make a promise to myself: This is the last time I will ever interview for a job as anything other than my full self. Out of love, admiration and respect, I want the next team to sign me valuing me for what I do and knowing who I truly am.”
Russell said he was tired of hiding.
“Have I lied to teammates, coaches, trainers, front-office executives and fans about who I am? Not exactly,” he said. “But withholding information is a form of deceit. And I want the next part of my career — and life — steeped in trust and honesty. During the season, you spend more time with your team than with your own family; truth and honesty are the cornerstones of a winning culture. My truth is that I’m a talented football player, a damn good writer, a loving son, an overbearing brother, a caring friend, a loyal lover, and a bisexual man.”
TMZ Sports reported that Russell’s boyfriend, Los-Angeles based dancer Corey O’Brien, praised his partner for coming out.
“This man is the top headline on @espn this morning for speaking his truth as a player in the NFL and as my boyfriend,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “I couldn’t be more proud.”
“Today, I have two goals: returning to the NFL, and living my life openly. I want to live my dream of playing the game I’ve worked my whole life to play, and being open about the person I’ve always been.”
Russell’s full profile can be read at ESPN.