NFL free agent Ryan Russell was released as a bisexual in an ESPN first-person test on Thursday morning. Russell spent four years in the league after playing for the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"My truth is that I am a talented footballer, a damn good writer, a loving son, a domineering brother, a caring friend, a faithful lover and a bisexual man," he wrote. "Today, I have two goals: to return to the NFL and live my life openly.I want to live my dream of playing the game." I have worked all my life to play and be open on the person I've always been. "
Russell continued, "These two goals should not be conflicting, but judging by the fact that there is not a single LGBTQ player openly in the NFL, the NBA, the Major League Baseball or the NHL, it brings me a break, I want to change that for me, for the other athletes who share these common goals, as well as for the generations of LGBTQ athletes that will follow. "
The defender missed the entire 2018 season after being injured in the shoulder the previous season and is now looking to sign with a team.
Russell was selected in the fifth round in 2015, a year after Michael Sam became the first openly gay player to be selected in the league. Sam, who held the same job as Russell, came out after finishing his career in college football, but before the draft. Sam has never played in an NFL game.