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NFL-free agent Ryan Russell has become as bisexual as he tries to return to the competition because he no longer wants to lie to & # 39; teammates, coaches, trainers, front-office executives and fans & # 39; about his real identity
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NFL-free agent Ryan Russell has become bisexual and says he hopes to return to the competition, but only if he can be honest with & # 39; teammates, coaches, trainers, front-office executives and fans & # 39; about his real identity.

& # 39; I want the next team to sign me that they appreciate me for what I do and know who I really am & # 39 ;, Russell wrote in a piece for ESPN.

He is now involved with professional dancer Corey O & Brien and the two have launched their own YouTube channel, but in the past four years Russell has been struggling with locking up. He was concerned that bisexual release might adversely affect his career, and those fears were almost reflected in 2016 when a & # 39; well-known blogger & # 39; threatened to expose him.

& # 39; If the blogger beat me, I was sure it would destroy my career, one that not only supported me, but my mother and grandfather, & Russell wrote. & # 39; He would eradicate a childhood dream that resulted from years of work and sacrifice. & # 39;

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Eventually, at Russell's insistence, the blogger agreed to hide his secret.

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NFL-free agent Ryan Russell has become as bisexual as he tries to return to the competition because he no longer wants to lie to & # 39; teammates, coaches, trainers, front-office executives and fans & # 39; about his real identity

Russell had his best season in 2017 when he made seven starts for Tampa Bay despite a shoulder injury

Russell had his best season in 2017 when he made seven starts for Tampa Bay despite a shoulder injury

NFL-free agent Ryan Russell has become as bisexual as he tries to return to the competition because he no longer wants to lie to & # 39; teammates, coaches, trainers, front-office executives and fans & # 39; about his real identity

On Thursday a professional dancer named Corey O & # 39; Brien placed a photo of him and Russell on a beach, with a caption: & # 39; This man is the head of the @espn this morning because he spoke his truth as a player in the NFL and as my boyfriend. I couldn't be more proud. # NFL & # 39;
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On Thursday a professional dancer named Corey O & # 39; Brien placed a photo of him and Russell on a beach, with a caption: & # 39; This man is the head of the @espn this morning because he spoke his truth as a player in the NFL and as my boyfriend. I couldn't be more proud. # NFL & # 39;

On Thursday a professional dancer named Corey O & # 39; Brien placed a photo of him and Russell on a beach, with a caption: & # 39; This man is the head of the @espn this morning because he spoke his truth as a player in the NFL and as my boyfriend. I couldn't be more proud. # NFL & # 39;

The career of 27-year-old Russell was somewhat unremarkable for an NFL player.

A defensive end that played at a collegiate level at Purdue, Russell was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. A year later, he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice team and did well enough to eventually get promoted for the active roster.

He made seven starts in 2017, but he suffered a serious shoulder injury and was not redrawn. Outside the short training camp period with the Buffalo Bills, Russell has more or less been out of the NFL in the past two seasons.

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His desire to play in the NFL has not changed, but Russell is sorry that he has been hiding in the league for three years.

& # 39; Withholding information is a form of deception & # 39 ;, he wrote. & # 39; And I want the next part of my career – and life – steeped in trust and honesty.

& # 39; Today I have two goals: return to the NFL and openly lead my life, & # 39; he went on. & # 39; I want to live my dream of playing the game I have worked on all my life, and be open about the person I have always been.

& # 39; Those two goals must not conflict. But judging by the fact that there is no open LGBTQ player in the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball or the NHL, it brings me a break. I want to change that – for me, for other athletes who share these common goals, and for the generations of LGBTQ athletes who will come next. & # 39;

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Ryan Russell (left) has become just as bisexual as both he and friend Corey O & Brien (right), a dancer, launch their own YouTube channel

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Ryan Russell (left) has become just as bisexual as both he and friend Corey O & Brien (right), a dancer, launch their own YouTube channel

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Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Ryan Russell (left) has become just as bisexual as both he and friend Corey O & Brien (right), a dancer, launch their own YouTube channel

Russell has written a poetry book since it was cut by the Buffalo Bills in 2018

Russell has written a poetry book since it was cut by the Buffalo Bills in 2018

Russell & # 39; s friend and former Purdue teammate Joseph Gilliam recently died of cancer

Russell & # 39; s friend and former Purdue teammate Joseph Gilliam recently died of cancer

Russell has written a poetry book since it was cut by the Buffalo Bills in 2018. His close friend and Purdue teammate Joe Gilliam died of cancer a year ago

Ryan Russell picked up a few bags while making seven starts for the Buccaneers

Ryan Russell picked up a few bags while making seven starts for the Buccaneers

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Ryan Russell picked up a few bags while making seven starts for the Buccaneers

Russell's announcement comes as New England's former offensive tackle Patriots Ryan O & # 39; Callaghan promotes his new book about being a closed gay man in the NFL. As O & # 39; Callaghan recently told Reuters, the competition has many homosexuals, but gay players stay in the closet because they are afraid of negative consequences for their career.

That's why Russell was so terrified when someone he described as a & # 39; famous blogger & # 39; sent him a message while he was still in the NFL asking if he was gay.

He had entrusted his sexuality to close friends and family, and even started dating men discreetly.

But even that limited level of openness was a problem when that blogger started collecting information about Russell & # 39; s love life on social media.

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& # 39; He had come across an Instagram story of a man I was dating, with a short excerpt of me in the background, & # 39; Russell wrote. & # 39; Although the man and I were never in a post together, the dates, times, and similar locations were sufficient evidence for the blogger to conclude that we were an item. The blogger could have revealed that I had a gay relationship.

& # 39; I panicked, then wrote back and reminded him that there were implications about his actions that he didn't quite understand, & # 39; Russell continued.

The blogger finally agreed to hide Russell's secret, but told the 6-foot-5 native Texan to be careful.

& # 39; Do you know what that blogger told me after he heard me? That he would grant me this favor, but that I should be more careful. & # 39;

In his upcoming book, & # 39; My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me and Ended Up Saving My Life & # 39; from September 3, O & # 39; Callaghan shares the exhausting mental game of passing for the straight in the NFL

In his upcoming book, & # 39; My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me and Ended Up Saving My Life & # 39; from September 3, O & # 39; Callaghan shares the exhausting mental game of passing for the straight in the NFL

As NFL veteran Ryan O & # 39; Callaghan told Reuters, gay players stay in the closet because, in their opinion, sponsoring or even a selection spot may cost them
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As NFL veteran Ryan O & # 39; Callaghan told Reuters, gay players stay in the closet because, in their opinion, sponsoring or even a selection spot may cost them

As NFL veteran Ryan O & # 39; Callaghan told Reuters, homosexual players stay in the closet because, in their opinion, hatching can cost them sponsorship or even a selection spot. In his upcoming book, & # 39; My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me and Ended Up Saving My Life & # 39 ;, O & # 39; Callaghan shares the exhausting mental game of beating in the NFL

Former San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Kwame Harris has been released

Former San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Kwame Harris has been released

Former San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Kwame Harris has been released

Retired Minnesota Viking defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo came out of the closet after his retirement

Retired Minnesota Viking defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo came out of the closet after his retirement

Former SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam struggled to stay in the NFL after coming out as a member of the University of Missouri Tigers
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Former SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam struggled to stay in the NFL after coming out as a member of the University of Missouri Tigers

Retired Minnesota Viking's defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo (left) came out of the closet after his retirement. Former SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam (right) struggled to stay in the NFL after joining the University of Missouri Tigers

That situation did not go well with Russell.

& # 39; No one would need a favor to live honestly, & # 39; Russell wrote. & # 39; In the world of nobody being careful means not being yourself. The career you choose should not dictate the parts of yourself that you embrace. & # 39;

Since then Russell dropped out of the NFL and cancer got the life of one of his best friends, former Purdue linebacker Joe Gilliam. Russell also fought depression and wrote a book of poetry while maintaining his dream of returning to the NFL.

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& # 39; In many ways, the past year of my life was the most satisfying, even if I was unable to play a snap in the NFL & # 39 ;, he wrote. Denk I think I have always known that healthy romantic relationships, supportive communities, and meaningful hobbies make life more focused and less stressful. But until I started to exist from day to day in that kind of life, I didn't realize how true it was. & # 39;

Russell does not believe that NFL players would discriminate against a gay or bisexual player as long as he helped the team win.

He is convinced that if he plays well, everything else does not matter and he does not have to hide who he is.

& # 39; I can tell you from experience that as long as a teammate contributes to success on the field and in the locker room, NFL players don't worry about who their defensive lines date with, & he said.

The Dallas Cowboys made a fifth round of Purdue from Ryan Russell in 2015

The Dallas Cowboys made a fifth round of Purdue from Ryan Russell in 2015

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The Dallas Cowboys made a fifth round of Purdue from Ryan Russell in 2015

NFL teams are famous for every perceived distraction, but Russell also thinks this is not a problem.

& # 39; There are many problems in the world and many problems that the NFL is facing. And I can confidently say that LGBTQ players have the comfort of being themselves, dating who they want, sharing their lives with friends and teammates will not be among those problems, "he added.

As Russell said, he is hardly the first former NFL player to come out.

Russell says he still hopes for a Pro Bowl selection and a Super Bowl champion, but he doesn't want to become famous because he simply comes out of the closet

Russell says he still hopes for a Pro Bowl selection and a Super Bowl champion, but he doesn't want to become famous because he simply comes out of the closet

Russell says he still hopes for a Pro Bowl selection and a Super Bowl champion, but he doesn't want to become famous because he simply comes out of the closet

In 2014, player Michael Sam started to be gay about being called up for the St. Louis Rams. He was eventually cut out of the team before he played a professional game.

Sam then played for the Montreal Alouettes as the first openly gay player in the Canadian football competition before retiring for mental health reasons in 2015.

Other openly gay former NFL players include Oakland Raider's offensive tackle Kwame Harris, and retired Minnesota Viking's defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo.

Now, like those other former NFL players, Russell doesn't have to hide who he is.

On Thursday a professional dancer named Corey O & # 39; Brien placed a photo of him and Russell on a beach, with a caption: & # 39; This man is the head of the @espn this morning because he spoke his truth as a player in the NFL and as my boyfriend. I couldn't be more proud. # NFL & # 39;

Russell says he still hopes for a Pro Bowl selection and a Super Bowl champion, but he doesn't want to become famous because he simply comes out of the closet.

& # 39; I am not a symbol or media star for myself & # 39 ;, he wrote. & # 39; I just want to play a ball for a team that knows me and values ​​it. I want to encourage teammates to be the same people they have always been. I want us to stay as close as family. I want to be able to devote my life to football without feeling that I cannot devote my life to truth either.

& # 39; Whatever I was for you before this letter, I still am today. We just know each other a little better. & # 39;

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