NFL player comes out as bisexual
RYAN Russell, who was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2015, has come out as bisexual.
In a piece for ESPN, Russell, currently a free agent, said he hoped to return to the NFL but only if he could be honest with "teammates, coaches, trainers, front-office executives and fans" about his sexuality.
"I want the next team to sign me valuing me for what I do and knowing who I truly am," he said.
He said he was in a relationship with dancer Corey O'Brien and announced the pair had their own YouTube channel.
"I couldn't be more proud," O'Brien said on Instagram.
Russell was drafted by the Cowboys in 2015 but signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a year later and was promoted to the active roster.
He made seven starts in 2017, but he suffered a severe shoulder injury and was not re-signed.
Withholding information is a form of deceit," Russell wrote.
"And I want the next part of my career - and life - steeped in trust and honesty.
"Today, I have two goals: returning to the NFL, and living my life openly," he continued.
"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.
"Those two objectives shouldn't be in conflict. But judging from the fact that there isn't a single openly LGBTQ player in the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball or the NHL, brings me pause.
"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.'
There is yet to be an openly gay player in the NFL.
In 2014, player Michael Sam opened up about being gay before being drafted to the St Louis Rams, but he was ultimately cut from the team before playing a professional game.
Sam went on to play for the Montreal Alouettes as the first openly gay player in the Canadian Football League before retiring for mental health reasons in 2015.
Former Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Kwame Harris, Patriots star Ryan O'Callaghan and retired Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo all came out in retirement.